Temple to help make tuition free for Philly students from families with low income

Admitted first-year, full-time Temple students residing in Philadelphia with a family-adjusted gross income at or below $65,000 are eligible.

Listen 1:14
A flag bearing Temple University's logo flies at half-staff.

The flag atop Carnell Hall at Montgomery Avenue and North Broad Street on the Temple University campus. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

Temple University will help make tuition free for eligible first-year, full-time students from families with low income living within Philadelphia County.

The Temple Promise program will cover remaining in-state Pennsylvania tuition and eligible university fees starting this fall, according to a release. The funds are applied to a student’s financial account after all other grants and scholarships are awarded. The program will not cover food or housing costs for students.

Admitted first-year, full-time students residing in Philadelphia County with a family-adjusted gross income at or below $65,000 are eligible. According to Temple, one of the main goals of the program is to make the university “more accessible and affordable for students with high financial need.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Other qualifications include:

  • Have a permanent Philadelphia address
  • Graduate from high school in 2024
  • Qualify for in-state tuition
  • Enroll at Temple University’s Ambler or Main Campus as full-time students (12–18 credit hours) working towards their first bachelor’s degree
  • File the 2024–2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1, 2024
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a total family-adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less and have financial needs as documented on the FAFSA

In an interview with WHYY News Thursday, University President Richard Englert said data shows a “lack of finances is a major barrier” to higher education.

“We continue to look for ways to address affordability and accessibility,” Englert said. “Affordability and accessibility are key, and really central, to Temple’s mission. Temple was founded on the vision of really providing a world-class education to talented and motivated students regardless of their backgrounds, regardless of their financial means.”

Senior Vice President and Provost Greg Mendel said the program allows Temple to “relieve financial stress for the best and the brightest from the city,” which could lead to growth in the student body.

“We’re expecting this to yield several hundreds more [students] and maybe even an increased number beyond that in terms of additional enrollment, which we look forward to welcoming to our campus,” Mendel said.

The program looks to accomplish some of the goals Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro outlined in his “Blueprint For Higher Education,” specifically making college more affordable as the state ranks 48th for affordability and 49th for state investment in higher education.

In a statement, Shapiro said the program will give “Pennsylvanians the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“The Temple Promise was built on that same principle: that Pennsylvanians deserve access to a higher education, no matter how much money their family makes or where they come from,” Shapiro said. “I applaud Temple University for their leadership, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly and the entire higher education sector to increase access to affordable higher education opportunities and ensure we are training the workers and leaders our Commonwealth needs.”

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said the Temple Promise aligns with her administration’s 100-Day Action Plan, specifically working to create post-secondary education opportunities for potential students.

“Throughout my life, access to education has been the great equalizer, unlocking countless opportunities,” Parker said. “The Temple Promise will ensure that Philadelphia students have access to the world-class education that is a hallmark of Temple University.”

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal