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Two Pittsburgh Universities Offering Promise Students Graduate Program Scholarships

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA
Seniors celebrate during a May 2018 Pittsburgh Promise Signing Day event.

Eligible Pittsburgh Public Schools students could receive up to 30 percent off graduate program tuition at Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, the institutions announced Wednesday.

The universities will offer the scholarships to Pittsburgh Promise alumni. The scholarship program for city students has historically offered eligible students up to $5,000 a year for four years of post-secondary education.

Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said the additional scholarship funding by from the universities signals a commitment to Pittsburgh students.

“These graduate school offerings will provide even more incentive to our young people to stay in the region and contribute to our workforce,” he said.

A 2016 Allegheny Conference report anticipated an 80,000 worker shortfall by 2025. Ghubrill said the partnership for graduate programs could incentivize students to stay in the city.

“While some of the jobs that are available in Pittsburgh require specialized technical education and some jobs require a four year degree, there are some career paths and jobs that are in existence right now that are in high demand that require further graduate education,” he said.

CMU students can use the scholarships for master’s programs in the College of Information Systems and Public Policy including information technology, health care, cybersecurity and arts and entertainment. David Eber, Heinz College Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, said in a statement CMU is committed to the local community and making an investment in students.

“Through our partnership with The Pittsburgh Promise, we hope to shape young minds, train local students to be future leaders in the Pittsburgh region, and remove any financial barriers that may prevent them from considering earning their master’s degree,” he said.

Duquesne students can use the award for select graduate programs in business, education, liberal arts and natural and environmental sciences.

“As part of our mission and our strategic plan, we continue to identify ways to support the region; and expanding our Pittsburgh Promise partnership to graduate programs is a wonderful way to do that,” said Duquesne University President Ken Gormley in a news release.

CMU and Duquesne are two of the 19 universities that last year pledged to pay an additional $2,000 a year for room and board costs for undergraduate students who receive the Promise scholarship.

Students who graduate from a Pittsburgh Public School or a city charter school with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and a 90 percent attendance record are eligible for the Promise scholarship. Students also have to have been a resident of the city of Pittsburgh since at least the beginning of 9th grade.