The Pittsburgh Promise and a group of 19 Pennsylvania colleges and universities established the Preferred College Partners initiative on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a part of the inaugural class of post-secondary institutions.

The other institutions are Allegheny College, Carlow University, Community College of Allegheny County, Chatham University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Geneva College, La Roche College, Pennsylvania State University (select branch campuses), Pittsburgh Technical College, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, Saint Vincent College, Seton Hill University, Slippery Rock University, Susquehanna University, Thiel College, and Westminster College.

Since its inception in 2008, the Pittsburgh Promise has funded more than 7,300 students enrolled in 124 public and private colleges across Pennsylvania at a cost of more than $102 million. Highlights of the report include:

  • Student eligibility for Promise scholarships in Pittsburgh Public Schools grew meaningfully.
  • Promise Scholars continue to achieve higher retention rates.
  • New data shows that Promise Scholars are attaining degrees and remaining in post-secondary programs at higher rates than national averages.
  • More than 135 companies have hired Promise Alumni in the Pittsburgh region Preferred Promise Partners.

Leaders of these partner institutions of higher learning gathered at the Energy Innovation Center to discuss and show their commitment to the program. These new partnerships are intended to further help Promise scholars with additional financial and academic support services through stronger relationships between the Pittsburgh Promise and post-secondary institutions. Preferred College Partners will provide grants for room, board, or books to Promise-eligible students who are accepted to the institution, beginning with the Class of 2018. The schools will also provide targeted transition and academic support services to ensure student retention and success.

The Pittsburgh Promise executive director, Saleem Ghubril, commented: “In today's economy, it is nearly impossible for young people to compete without some specialized post-secondary education. Because financial and social barriers prevent many students from pursuing and completing their education and training, the Preferred College Partners initiative will work to help the Promise and post-secondary institutions to remove such barriers and fortify the foundations that all students need to succeed. We know that targeted support services are essential to student success, especially among low-income and first-generation college students.”

He continued, “We look forward to promoting this opportunity to Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates, and we invite other Pennsylvania institutions of higher education to join the Preferred College Partners.”

About the Pittsburgh Promise

The Pittsburgh Promise, a scholarship program for Pittsburgh Public School students, advocates for improving the quality of education and increasing the preparedness and diversity of the region's workforce. Pittsburgh has the largest Promise program in the United States. For more information, visit the Pittsburgh Promise.