The Pittsburgh Promise is committed to raising the required resources to fund students through the high school graduating class of 2028.

How much scholarship money will I receive?

For the Classes of 2018 through 2028: Every student who starts on day one of 9th grade and meets eligibility criteria will be eligible for up to $5,000 per year ($20,000 maximum) to be used within five years of post-secondary education.

What does The Promise pay for?

  • The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship is a “last dollar” scholarship, meaning The Promise pays for eligible expenses after all other grants and scholarships, such as Pell, PHEAA, FSEOG, and institutional grants have been deducted. Loans and work-study are not included in the calculation.
  • The Promise pays the remaining balance up to the student’s maximum award for each of four years of education.
  • Expenses eligible for Promise scholarship funds are tuition, fees, room, board, and books.
  • Colleges and schools invoice The Pittsburgh Promise for the scholarship funds each term or semester. Checks are sent directly to the schools.

Where can I use The Promise scholarship?

Students may attend any accredited college, university, trade, or technical school in Pennsylvania. Programs must be eligible for the federal Pell grant. Promise funds are for post-secondary only, and cannot be used for graduate-level courses.

Can I use the scholarship to pay for college courses taken while in high school?

Dual Enrollment offers high school students the opportunity to experience college-level coursework and earn college credit while still in high school. The Pittsburgh Promise provides funding to pay for select college-level courses at CCAC for juniors and seniors at Pittsburgh Public Schools. To fund the courses, The Promise provides early access to Promise scholarship funds that may await eligible students upon graduation. Funds used by the students while in high school will be deducted from their maximum Promise scholarship. Details and available courses will be mailed to students during their junior and senior years.

Learn more about Dual Enrollment.

How long do I have to use the scholarship?

The Promise scholarship must be used within five years of graduation from high school.

Students who have: graduated from a program designated for students ages 18-21 based on IEP goals, receive benefits from OVR, and/or require accommodations for deafness or hard of hearing may receive Promise scholarship funds until they’ve exhausted their maximum award or until June 30, 2033.

Students who enter the military after high school should contact The Promise office once they are discharged.

How do I apply?

Login to The Promise Student Portal and follow the instructions. Access to The Promise Student Portal will be provided during the fall of your senior year.

I forgot my username and/or password for The Promise Student Portal. How can I retrieve them?

It is important that your contact information is up to date in The Promise Student Portal. If you have forgotten your username and password, click “Forgot Password/Username”. Directions will be sent to the email you have provided in the system. If you need additional help or support, please call our office: 412.281.7605.

How does my school get The Promise scholarship funds?

Students enter the name of the school they will attend in The Promise Student Portal and The Promise takes it from there. Schools invoice The Pittsburgh Promise for the funds. Checks are sent directly to the school. The Promise strives to pay fall semester funds by the end of October and spring semester funds by mid-March.  Funds for schools on trimesters and quarters are paid at the beginning of each term or as invoices are received from the schools.

What information does The Pittsburgh Promise share with the post-secondary schools I apply to?

The Promise only reports the information needed to identify the student – date of birth, high school graduating class, and the amount of the student’s Promise scholarship. The Promise does not report information about exceptionality, IEPs, or 504 plans.

What if I transfer schools?

To transfer your Promise award, you must log in to The Promise Student Portal and click “School Interest” on the left-hand of the screen. Click the “Add School” button on the upper left-hand corner of the page. Complete the short form, and click “Save”. After you have completed these steps, call The Promise office to ensure we have received the change: 412.281.7605.


Where can I find other scholarships and grants to supplement my Promise funds?

Preferred College Partners

These post-secondary schools guarantee financial aid for room and board to Promise Scholars who are admitted to their school.

Learn more about Preferred College Partners.


Other Scholarship and Financial Aid Resources

Can I use my scholarship for study abroad or externship programs?

Study abroad programs qualify for Promise funding if they can be billed through the student’s regular school.  Schools use their annual budget figures for cost information and the student’s financial aid as though the student was on campus for the school year.

Translated Promise Frequently Asked Questions can be found here:

*The Promise is in the midst of an ambitious fundraising campaign to fund scholarships through the Class of 2028. To ensure the longevity of The Pittsburgh Promise, changes to the scholarship structure have been made, starting with the Class of 2017, which will allow PPS graduates to benefit from this community gift for years to come. 

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