Skip Navigation LinksPA Gov > News Details
5/9/2014

Governor Corbett, Senator Ward, PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan, Postsecondary Education Leaders Advocate for “Ready to Succeed” Scholarship Program

News for Immediate Release

May 9, 2014

Governor Corbett, Senator Ward, PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan, Postsecondary Education Leaders Advocate for “Ready to Succeed” Scholarship Program

Program to benefit middle-income students

Youngwood – Gov. Tom Corbett, Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) and PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan today were joined by students, postsecondary education leaders and lawmakers at Westmoreland County Community College to share details about the “Ready to Succeed” Scholarship Program. This merit-based program would provide financial assistance to middle-income students attending any postsecondary education institution in Pennsylvania.

“Students from middle-income families oftentimes do not qualify for state grants,” Corbett said.  “The ‘Ready to Succeed’ Scholarship Program provides students with much-needed financial assistance to reduce the amount of debt they incur while pursuing postsecondary education.”

Included in Gov. Corbett’s proposed 2014-15 state budget, the “Ready to Succeed” Scholarship Program would be available to students whose family has a gross income of up to $110,000, annually adjusted for inflation.

Senate Bill 1361, authored by Sen. Ward, would create the “Ready to Succeed” Scholarship Program within the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

“The ‘Ready to Succeed’ Scholarship Program is landmark legislation that finally gives middle-income families more flexibility and options when mapping out a postsecondary education for their children,” Ward said.

Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and will be available to students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year in college.  Eligible students must have and maintain a grade point average of 3.25.

Up to $2,000 annually would be awarded to full-time students and up to $1,000 each year would be awarded to part-time students.

Jillian Fleming, a student at Westmoreland County Community College, stated, “As a single mom of twins, this scholarship will really help me with college expenses, such as textbooks as I prepare to enter the nursing program.  I’ve worked hard to achieve a 3.46 grade point average and I appreciate that the scholarship takes into account not only financial need but performance and a commitment to degree completion.”

It’s estimated that 80 percent of scholarship recipients have not previously received financial assistance through the PHEAA State Grant program.

“The 14 universities of the State System are dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable educational opportunities to Pennsylvania's families, and Governor Corbett’s proposed program would help many of our students achieve their dream of earning a college degree while reducing their potential debt. The Board of Governors and I applaud this initiative and encourage the General Assembly to support this kind of smart, targeted investment in Pennsylvania’s future,” said Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

“Community Colleges provide a critical role in accessing higher education and preparing graduates to enter the workforce or to transfer to the four-year college of their choice.  At the same time, a growing number of lower- and middle-income students need additional financial assistance to help pay their college expenses.  The Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program will provide additional financial support for a diverse group of students,” said Dr. Quintin Bullock, president of the Community College of Allegheny County.” 

“We are most grateful for the governor’s support for allowing state money to follow the student, thereby allowing families to choose whether their students will attend public or private, two-year or four-year, profit or non-profit institutions,“ said Brother Norman Hipps, O.S.B., Ph.D., president of Saint Vincent College, speaking on behalf of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.  “Especially, we appreciate that this legislation will assist the families who are most burdened by college expenses; those who make too much money to receive Pell or PHEAA funds, but not enough to cover the expenses of a college education.”

Gov. Corbett is committed to working with lawmakers to ensure that this program is included in the final 2014-15 state budget.

“It is imperative that this scholarship program remains part of the final budget agreement,” Corbett said.  “I want to thank Senator Ward for introducing legislation to move this proposal forward, and I also want to thank the lawmakers, higher education leaders and students who joined with me today in support of this initiative.”

Media Contact: Tim Eller, 717-783-9802

###​

Search

Enter your search term

Search
× Cancel