To earn The Promise scholarship, students must:

Be enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools*, or one of its charters, continuously, since at least the beginning of 9th grade,
Be residents of the City of Pittsburgh, continuously, since at least the beginning of 9th grade, and
Graduate from a PPS high school with a minimum cumulative, unweighted grade point average of 2.50 and an attendance record of 90% or above.

* Students who live in Wilkinsburg, graduate from Pittsburgh Public Schools, and meet all other requirements are eligible to receive Promise scholarships beginning with the graduating class of 2017.

The Promise Extension Program at CCAC

Students who graduate from high school and meet the residency, enrollment and attendance requirements, but have a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.0-2.49, are eligible to enroll in The Promise Extension Program at CCAC. This program requires students to complete 9 credits per semester and maintain a 2.0 GPA. Those who complete a full year in the Extension Program become fully Promise eligible and may enroll in any Pell-eligible post-secondary program in Pennsylvania. To apply for the program, students contact The Promise Office at CCAC anytime beginning their senior year in high school. Students may enroll in the program anytime during the 4 years following high school graduation.

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Promise Eligible High Schools

  • Pittsburgh Allderdice
  • Pittsburgh Brashear
  • Pittsburgh CAPA
  • Pittsburgh Carrick
  • City High Charter High School
  • Pittsburgh Milliones (UPrep)
  • Pittsburgh Obama
  • Pittsburgh Perry
  • Pittsburgh Sci-Tech Academy
  • Pittsburgh Westinghouse
  • The Academy Charter High School
  • Hill House Passport Academy
  • Urban Pathways Charter High School
  • Pittsburgh Online Academy*

Eligibility FAQs

How do I maintain Promise eligibility once I begin college/post-secondary school?

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and complete a full-time course load as defined by the school they attend, usually 12–16 credits. Check with your school for their definition of full-time. Academic progress will be reviewed by The Promise at the end of each school year. Part-time enrollment is not funded by The Promise.

Can I regain scholarship eligibility if I lose it?

If you’ve failed to meet continued eligibility, you can attend school without The Promise scholarship and earn the credits and/or GPA needed to be reinstated. Sometimes students are able to utilize their Promise scholarship for summer school. The funding of summer coursework is considered annually at The Promise’s March board meeting. If approved, students may access un-used Promise funds from their current year’s Promise award, but no more than one semester of funding, to pay for covered costs.

Common eligibility questions for students with IEPs and 504 plans

The Pittsburgh Promise is committed to establishing resources and programs to ensure that the scholarship remains accessible to all students of all abilities, without exception.

What if my high school attendance record is below the 90% requirement?

The 90% attendance requirement does not include excused absences for illness. If you have an exceptionality, 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.

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