“It lives in all of us” is not just a slogan; it’s a conviction. Inside every child lives a
promise that is worthy of nurture, attention and care. It cries out to the adults in that
child’s life to feed it and then set it free.
Because The Pittsburgh Promise is indeed Pittsburgh’s promise to Pittsburgh’s kids,
we lock arms with our families, schools, and communities in order to ensure that
the promise we make is a promise that is made accessible to all children.
Common questions for students with
exceptionalities & The Promise
What are the residency and enrollment requirements?
Live in the City of Pittsburgh and attend Pittsburgh Public Schools, one of the 4 high schools chartered by PPS, or an Approved Private School (APS) for special education continuously from at least the beginning of 9th grade.
What if my high school attendance record is below the 90% requirement?
The 90% attendance requirement does not include excused absences for illness. Work with your Transition Counselor (students with IEPs) or Guidance Counselor (students with 504 Plans) to make certain your attendance is properly recorded. Only unexcused absences count against Promise eligibility. Attendance is reported on report cards.
What if I’ve had an interruption in my enrollment due to my exceptionality?
The Promise has a compassion appeal process to review exceptions to the enrollment requirement. Families or students may send a letter to The Promise explaining the reason for the interruption in enrollment when the student applies for the scholarship in their senior year of high school.
What if I do not achieve the required 2.5 GPA or am not graded on a traditional 4.0 scale?
Pittsburgh Public Schools is responsible for reporting academic information to The Promise for each student. Your Transition Counselor (for students with IEPs) or your Guidance Counselor (for students with 504 Plans) will work with your school to determine your academic progress and translate it for Promise eligibility purposes.
What schools can I attend with the scholarship?
Students can choose from more than 300 Pennsylvania schools. Schools must be accredited and eligible for government funds. If you have a question about the eligibility of a post-secondary school you are considering, please contact The Pittsburgh Promise or visit our website at www.pittsburghpromise.org.
When do I have to use my scholarship?
The Promise Scholarship has a 5-year expiration period. Students must use the award within 5-years of graduating from high school. Students with IEPs who remain in school until age 21 receive a deferral - their 5-year term begins when they leave high school, or when they enroll in post-secondary school and begin using their Promise funds, whichever comes first.
What do I need to do to use my scholarship?
1) Apply for and gain admission to the post-secondary school you wish to attend. 2) Contact The Pittsburgh Promise and tell them in which school you are enrolling. They will contact the school and inform them that you are a Promise scholar. 3) Complete a Release to Schools form so that The Promise and the school can share information about your financial aid and academic progress. 4) Complete the FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid, before May 1st of the year you are enrolling.
What information does The Pittsburgh Promise share with post-secondary schools I apply to?
The Promise only reports the information needed to identify the student – date of birth, last 4 digits of the social security number, high school graduating class and the amount of the student’s Promise scholarship. The Promise does not report information about exceptionality.
How do I find support services and accommodations for my exceptionality once I enroll in a post-secondary school?
Students with exceptionalities who wish to receive support services in a post-secondary school can register with the school’s disability services office to receive services and accommodations.
Contact the Transition Counselor at your high school (for students with IEPs) or your Guidance Counselor (for students with 504 Plans).