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Since 1927, gifts to The Penn Fund—from undergraduate alumni and parents like you—have made a profound and immediate impact on all aspects of student life and learning at the University by providing grant-based financial aid packages to undergraduates, supporting enhancements to academic programs and campus technology, and fostering community through student clubs and organizations. This longstanding tradition of loyal generosity allows donors to support the University’s greatest needs and highest priorities through the general fund, long-term scholarship support, and special reunion class projects.

How do we support Undergraduates at Penn?

Undergraduate Financial Aid
Residential and Campus Life
Academic Enrichment

I’m very lucky and blessed to be at Penn, and it’s all thanks to the scholarships and grants I’ve received from Penn alumni.”

Kristina Pham C’26

Kristina Pham C’26

A native Philadelphian, Kristina sought a challenging university experience that would allow her to stay close to home and her family. She applied to Penn through QuestBridge National College Match—a nonprofit organization which offers low-income high school students the opportunity to be considered for four-year scholarships at the country’s leading colleges and universities. Her acceptance enabled Kristina to attend her dream institution free of financial worry, and she remains grateful for the supportive community of alumni donors: “I’m very lucky and blessed to be at Penn, and it’s all thanks to the scholarships and grants I’ve received from Penn alumni.”

Kristina’s journey to Penn strengthened her long-standing belief in the importance of giving back. As a Penn Traditions Philanthropy Ambassador, she works with her team to educate fellow undergraduates about the meaningful impact of philanthropy, sharing the diverse ways in which alumni donors support students’ experiences on campus. “It’s been inspiring to witness the generosity of our alumni community and the difference they’ve made for so many individuals and student groups.” Her involvement in Penn Traditions has also allowed Kristina to connect with friends who share her passion for meaningful philanthropy. “Everyone has been so welcoming since I first joined the organization and I’ve learned so much about the events that make Penn what it is. This has really helped me to feel at home here and find my community.”

Kristina also supports her fellow students as the co-director of Bridge to Math, a student-led initiative that helps incoming freshmen acclimate to the math curriculum at Penn. “As a math major myself, it’s important for me to connect with other students in the department. Studying math at Penn is challenging, and I advocate for my peers and encourage them to believe in their abilities.” The Bridge to Math summer program provides a breakdown of each class, so students can feel empowered as they prepare for their upcoming coursework. The organization also hosts study hall meetings throughout the semester to offer continual guidance and support. “We encourage students to develop their confidence, and help them understand that they have what it takes to succeed in math at Penn.”

As she looks ahead to her remaining time at the University, Kristina is excited to continue cultivating meaningful friendships and engaging with her coursework and extracurricular involvement. This summer, she will intern for the Independence Blue Cross actuarial sciences department—an opportunity she encountered through a connection with a Penn alumnus. “This really shows the power of Penn alumni. Seeing how our alumni look out for us and care about our success is inspiring.” Kristina is certain this internship will open new doors for her, and she knows the next two years on campus will be transformative for her, as well: “I’m confident that Penn will guide me and point me in the right direction. Because of all the meaningful relationships and connections, I know the answer is at Penn somewhere.”

Favorite Penn Tradition
Homecoming! I love school spirit, and I love the energy of everyone being so excited to represent the Red and Blue. Being at Franklin Field, cheering on our team, and the fact that we won—it was my first football game, and a really wonderful and wholesome experience!
Favorite Penn Class
Math 1410 with Professor Ghrist. He is, hands down, the best professor I’ve ever had at Penn. I was questioning whether I belonged here at the University, and his genuine enthusiasm and passion for teaching helped encourage me. It’s evident that he wants all his students to succeed. I really admire him as a professor and as a mentor.
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