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Wolf Administration, PASSHE provide $5 million in new funding for Pa. employees

Ed Gruver//January 5, 2023

Wolf Administration, PASSHE provide $5 million in new funding for Pa. employees

Ed Gruver//January 5, 2023

A new scholarship program providing $5 million for Pennsylvania employees and their dependents who are pursuing higher education at a State System university was announced Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). 

“An essential part of building effective government is supporting the employees who serve their fellow Pennsylvanians every single day,” Wolf said in a statement. “These folks do the hard work of the commonwealth, and I am proud of the ways that we have modernized state employment to ensure we can attract and retain great employees who do their best for their fellow Pennsylvanians every day.” 

The Wolf Administration authorized a grant of $5 million to the PASSHE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates in service of the State System of Higher Education, which will develop and implement the scholarship program. Wolf said the program will help “continue to grow and provide the first-class service that Pennsylvanians deserve from state government.” 

Pennsylvania employees and eligible dependents will be able to apply to the PASSHE Foundation beginning with the Spring 2023 term for a grant of up to $2,000 per academic year for full-time students and up to $1,000 for part-time students. Scholarship funds may be used for expenses including tuition, room, and board. 

Board Chair Cindy Shapira said the State System has frozen tuition for four consecutive years and increased student financial aid in our commitment to provide high-quality education at the lowest possible cost to students. “These scholarships will further those efforts and open doors of opportunity for many students and working adults.” 

This scholarship program furthers the Wolf Administration’s and PASSHE’s partnership to make higher education more affordable for Pennsylvania’s public servants. Wolf and PASSHE announced in October 2022 that state employees can earn an online degree from Pennsylvania Western University at a 20% discounted tuition rate. Foundation scholarships can be applied to any PASSHE course, including the PennWest Global Online program. 

“This additional financial aid is critical for many students to start college, complete their degree and have the advanced skills the state and other employers need,” said Lynn Miller, PASSHE Foundation Board Chair and retired healthcare executive. “The scholarships enable more students of all ages to get an affordable degree or credential that propels them into good jobs, strengthens the workforce, creates economic security for their families and provides a tremendous return on investment.” 

Added Wolf, “I am grateful to the leadership team at the PASSHE Foundation for coordinating with my administration and using these grant funds to provide Pennsylvania state employees and their dependents with scholarship opportunities to further their higher education.”

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