New financial aid grant will cover tuition for new, eligible students

Financial aid grant Temple Promise seeks to increase accessibility to Temple for low-income Philadelphians.

Temple Promise will be available to low-income, first-year students from Philadelphia County. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Promise, a new financial aid program, will be available to low-income, first-year Philadelphia County students who start attending the university in Fall 2024, the university announced in a message to the Temple community. 

Full-time students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree and residing in Philadelphia County, with a family-adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less and who filed a FAFSA will be eligible for the grant.

Temple Promise is a last-dollar grant, which means after other grants, rewards or scholarships the student might have received are applied, the grant will cover the student’s remaining tuition and other eligible university fees. 

“If you look around the country, if you look around Temple University, the data is very clear,” President Richard Englert told The Temple News Thursday. “Lack of finances for students and families is a major barrier to attending college. We continue to look for ways to address affordability and accessibility. Temple was founded on the mission of providing a world-class education for talented, motivated students of promise. It’s in our DNA.”

In 2021, the median household income of Philadelphians was almost $53,000. Enrolling at Temple after accounting for the average grants and scholarships awarded to a student costs $20,000 a year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. 

The grant is expected to apply to a couple hundred students in Philadelphia, Jose Aviles, vice provost for enrollment management said on Thursday.

Thirty-eight percent of Temple’s Class of 2027 were Pell Grant recipients, a record number for an incoming class at the university. 

“Temple University’s commitment to the Temple Promise, which provides vital financial aid to talented Philadelphia students, aligns with our 100-Day Action Plan for the Parker administration, which envisions close collaboration with our region’s universities, to establish an equitable, thriving educational system that empowers students across our City,” wrote Mayor Cherelle Parker in a press release. “Throughout my life, access to education has been the great equalizer, unlocking countless opportunities.”

Temple is the only public university in Philadelphia, but as of the 2022-23 academic year, just 15 percent of students in Temple’s Main Campus are from Philadelphia. 

While the number of Philadelphians in incoming classes has shrunk in recent years, the university is excited to motivate enrollment and see results over the next few years, Englert said.

“We’re really excited about making Temple’s education more accessible in our own backyard, creating that opportunity for Philadelphians,” Englert said. “It would be a shame if any talented, motivated student who wants to go to college is denied the opportunity because of finances, so we’re trying to make opportunity available.” 

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