Nineteen Pittsburgh-area colleges and universities are partnering with the Pittsburgh Promise to offer students who receive the scholarship an additional $2,000 a year for room and board costs.
Commuter colleges that don’t provide housing and have signed the agreement will offer funding for books rather than housing.
In exchange, the Pittsburgh Promise has agreed to promote these schools to students who receive the scholarship. Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said the funding is another attempt to remove barriers that prevent students from completing a degree.
“For them to actually live in a dorm room and be able to focus on their education and not have to commute and be distracted by things happening at home or in the neighborhood,” he said.
The universities have also pledged to provide support services for Promise students which could include transition courses or assigned mentors.
“Data tell us unequivocally that certain support services make a dramatic difference in a kid’s ability to not just go, but go and perform at high levels and then eventually complete their post-secondary education,” Ghubril said.
Pittsburgh Public School students must have a 2.5 GPA to be eligible for the Promise scholarship, which offers up to $7,500 per year toward tuition.
Excluding the University of Pittsburgh, most schools in the Pittsburgh city limits have signed the agreement including the Community College of Allegheny County, as well as Carlow, Chatham, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne, Point Park and Robert Morris universities.
According to the Promise, the organization has funded more than 7,300 students enrolled in 124 public and private colleges across Pennsylvania since 2008.