New Program Supports Pittsburgh Public Schools Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Gallagher and Hamlet

The University of Pittsburgh has expanded its commitment to recruiting, rewarding and supporting the city’s best public school students in their pursuit of a college degree.

Beginning in fall 2018, valedictorians and salutatorians from all Pittsburgh Public Schools will be guaranteed freshman admission to the University of Pittsburgh, along with scholarship support of at least $2,000 per year.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced the new Pittsburgh Public Scholars (PPS) program at today’s Board of Trustees meeting.

"A Pitt education is transformative," said Gallagher. "The Pittsburgh Public Scholars program enables us to support students who have earned this opportunity and it gives us yet another way to invest in our local community and our city's future."

Pittsburgh Public Scholars program at a glance

  • Begins in fall 2018.
  • All valedictorians and salutatorians from Pittsburgh Public Schools high schools or charter high schools are eligible: Allderdice High School, Brashear High School, CAPA 6-12, Carrick High School, Milliones 6-12 University Preparatory School, Obama 6-12, Perry High School, Science and Technology Academy and Westinghouse Academy.
  • Guarantees admission to any University of Pittsburgh campus and a scholarship of at least $2,000 annually for up to four years.
  • Guarantees to meet the full financial need of valedictorians and salutatorians who are Federal Pell Grant recipients.
  • Eligible students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have applied to the University of Pittsburgh for freshman admission by December 15.

All valedictorians and salutatorians from Pittsburgh Public Schools — Allderdice High School, Brashear High School, CAPA 6-12, Carrick High School, Milliones 6-12 University Preparatory School, Obama 6-12, Perry High School, Science and Technology Academy and Westinghouse Academy — will be eligible for the PPS program.

As part of the program, the University will meet the full financial need of valedictorians and salutatorians who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants.

The PPS program expands on Pitt’s existing partnership with the Pittsburgh Public Schools that launched the Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration (PAC) in 2016.

PAC supports high school juniors and seniors who pursue higher education through initial studies at the Community College of Allegheny County with the goal of transferring to Pitt to complete their degree. Those students are guaranteed admission to Pitt and the opportunity to earn up to $7,000 a year in Pitt scholarships through the Pitt Raise.me program.

Pitt funds microscholarships through Raise.me, which encourages students in grades 9-12 to build a portfolio and earn scholarship money at their selected university for achievements such as maintaining good grades, holding leadership positions and volunteering during their high school years.

“The University of Pittsburgh continues to demonstrate its commitment to the academic success of Pittsburgh Public Schools students. The Pittsburgh Scholars Program ensures that students who rise to the top of their class can continue their education at a local renowned institution,” said Anthony Hamlet, superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

“We know that partnerships such as the Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration provide mentorship, admission opportunities and financial aid that further equip our students for success in college, career and life. We are truly grateful to the University of Pittsburgh for this wonderful opportunity for our students.”

Said Marc Harding, the University’s chief enrollment officer: “The University of Pittsburgh has an important role to play in ensuring PPS students have access to the very best educational opportunities. The PPS initiative is a commitment to making this happen. I’m excited about this new and important component of our ongoing partnership and commitment to the city of Pittsburgh and our most valuable asset — our students.”

Read more about announcements at the June 30 board meeting: Building Renamed to Honor K. Leroy Irvis and Board of Trustees Elects Members, Approves Construction Projects for Pittsburgh, Johnstown.

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