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Where does your tuition really go? We crunched the numbers.


Anna Lisa Lowenstein | Design Associate

With its students paying tuition upwards of $55,000 for the 2018-2019 school year, Penn's administration seems to be rather quiet about how its money is used. Over the course of the past seven weeks, our team of investigators uncovered the truth about where your tuition money really goes.

(32%) Amy Gutmann’s Extensive Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Collection

One lesser-known fact about our beloved president is that she is an enthusiastic fan of trading card game and anime Yu-Gi-Oh! Our sources estimate that Gutmann's collection is currently worth $1.7 million, and she continues to search eBay regularly for the rarest cards.

(27%) Joe Biden Booking Rate

Celebrities are expensive. Ever wonder why Joe Biden always seems to be on campus? Reports estimate Penn spends over a quarter of your tuition on appearance fees for our former VPOTUS, from makeup and public speaking coaching to meals, housing and even daily feet massages.

(16%) Penn InTouch Web Developer Salary

For a website this magnificent, Penn scoured the earth for the greatest programmers in order to create a functional, well-designed, and user-friendly experience. Penn InTouch remains at the forefront of modern technology, with functionality like color schemes and even multiple tabs rumored for the future. It’s no wonder the developers are paid so well.

(13%) Even Newer College House

A school aiming for cutting-edge innovation needs a campus that embodies the same mission. New College House is reaching its second birthday, and it’s been months since the plans for New College House West were announced. The Penn administration has decided to build an Even Newer College House (direction pending), with state-of-the-art facilities and a sleek, modern design.


Although administrators emphasize their commitment to transparency, they reported not being “at liberty to reveal Penn’s top-secret projects, which are funded by both student tuition and national lobbying organizations.” What this implies exactly is uncertain, but it’s definitely concerning.

(3%) "Other"

Three percent of funding from your tuition goes to several miscellaneous programs, including, but not limited to, staff salaries, research projects and campus-wide wellness events. "While not as important as the other things that receive more funding, the things in the ‘Other’ category are still worth funding,” a Penn administrator said in an official statement.

(2%) Salad Dressing for Dining Halls

Penn somehow spends over $1,000 of each student’s tuition on salad dressing yet still manages to buy the worst-tasting ones I’ve ever had. It really makes you think how much blue cheese dressing they have hidden away somewhere.