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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 7, 2021 03:46 PM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Nellie Bly Scholarship Program
Pennsylvania’s four-year public higher education system is unaffordable. Accessibility to postsecondary education is even more difficult for the Commonwealth’s most economically disadvantaged students, even with financial assistance through things like Pell and PA State Grants. Many students and families are forced to have to borrow to finance college which takes years to pay off resulting in a delay in financial independence.

For this reason I will be sponsoring legislation that would create the Nellie Bly Scholarship Program for students attending a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) university. The program will provide a scholarship to full-time undergraduate students with a household income of under $104,800. Additionally, for the state’s most economically disadvantage students, the scholarship will include the tuition and fees gap not covered by a student’s Pell and PA State Grants.

Eligible students will be able to receive a full scholarship for up to 8 full-time semesters who make a commitment to stay and work in the commonwealth for the same number of years they participate in the program. Priority will be given to students pursuing careers in education and health care. The Nellie Bly Scholarship Program will be funded by redirecting $199 million from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund.

It is believed that this scholarship program will serve nearly 44,000 students. I hope you will join me in making higher education more attainable for our commonwealth’s students.

Introduced as SB377