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Use full name (University of Pennsylvania) on first reference when writing for an external audience. Capitalize “University” when it stands for Penn.

Penn Parent Designation + Year

Use the “PAR” designation for parents of currently enrolled students only. Single or multiple designations should be set off from a personal name with commas, front and back:

  • John Smith, PAR’11, PAR’14, is co-chair of the Parents Leadership Committee.


Spell out “percent” rather than using the symbol (%), except when used in tables:

  • 3 percent
  • 100 percent

President’s House


Use who rather than that when referring to people or groups of people.

  • Conference participants who elected to take a campus tour were able to visit the newly renovated building.

Scholarships/Student Aid

“Scholarship” communicates merit. “Aid” generally refers to need. Do not use “financial aid” in any circumstance. Use only “student aid” when referring to undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional student aid.


Lowercase, except when referring to formal Penn occasions or events:

  • Last fall, students returned to campus like locusts to a favorite feeding site.
  • In just a few weeks, Penn’s Summer Session 1 interns transformed an abandoned theater to a thriving site for community meetings.
  • Penn students celebrated Spring Break by volunteering at local public-service agencies.
  • On September 15, Penn opened its Fall Semester with Convocation at Houston Hall.