A university education is the instrument of social mobility and progressive social change—it can be life-changing for individuals and society. However, prospective students, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, sometimes simply cannot assemble the resources they need to give them an opportunity to access a great Pitt education.
Ensuring access to—and affordability of—that education is a significant priority for the University and for Provost Ann Cudd. She is deeply committed to exploring new ways to address challenges and opportunities in allocating need-based financial aid and lowering student debt.
Pitt Success Pell Match
In late February 2019, during her first year as provost, Provost Cudd promoted the launch of the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, a ground-breaking initiative to invest in students—both current students and prospective students across all five Pitt campuses—with the greatest need.
Through the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, students who qualify for the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant program will see those federal funds matched, dollar for dollar, by the University. With the average Pell Grant award totaling $4,500, this match immediately reduces the total cost of a Pitt education for the roughly 5,000 qualifying students.
This not only makes a college education more accessible to eligible students from the start, but it also helps provide an avenue for students to focus their time on studies and University activities versus paid employment. And because it is a grant, it does not add to the burden of student loan debt after completing their degrees.
As part of the Pitt Success Program, Provost Cudd has launched the Provost Academy, a new summer bridge program designed to set a student up for success in the first year. The Provost Academy strives to give students a head start on the learning environment at Pitt with a focus on making connections with university faculty, staff, and students through interesting academic projects and classroom learning, community field projects, resource/opportunity workshops, and evening social activities.
Through participation in the Provost Academy students will also become more familiar with the campus and the city of Pittsburgh, in addition to the academic climate.
Pitt's Fostering Independence Programming
Pitt is committed to helping former or current foster youth, starting with the application and financial aid process and then continuing to support their academic pursuits to ultimately lead to graduation. Pitt's Point of Contact, Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Director of Academic Affairs, can help students navigate existing services at Pitt’s five campuses and when needed, help locate additional resources. Reach out to Stephanie at email@example.com or by phone at 412-383-5624 to find individual support.
Pitt Success Program in the News
- "Editorial: Pitt’s need-based aid is good call," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 10, 2020
- "University of Pittsburgh named in national report for improving financial aid practices," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 8, 2020
- "Crisis Point: How Enrollment Management and the Merit-Aid Arms Race Are Derailing Public Higher Education," in Conclusion, New America, February 2020
- "Financial Aid Thought Leaders Exchange Ideas at NASFAA's Inaugural Executive Roundtable," on NASFAA.org, February 6, 2020
- "Moving Away From Merit Aid," Inside Higher Ed, October 18, 2019
- "Pitt Provost Says Pell Grant Match Program Helps School Cast Wider Net," The Confluence on 90.5 WESA, September 6, 2019
- “Let’s Make the Admissions Process More Equitable,” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, May 13, 2019
- “Pitt takes innovative step toward access and affordability with Pell grant matching program,” University Times, March 7, 2019
- "Pell Matching Program will affect many Southern Tier students," Olean Times Herald, March 4, 2019
- "Pell Grant matching program will affect many area students," The Bradford Era, March 2, 2019
- "University of Pittsburgh Initiative to Make College More Affordable," The College Post, February 25, 2019
- “Pitt to match Pell grants in effort to boost access, lower student debt,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 2019
- “Pitt to match Pell Grants for undergraduates,” Tribune-Review, February 22, 2019
- “Pitt Launches Groundbreaking Program in Ongoing Effort to Support Students With Financial Need,” Pittwire, February 22, 2019
Affordability Programs at Pitt
The Pitt Success Program is just one of several accessibility and affordability initiatives the University currently has in place to address the challenges of funding a college education.
Visit Affordability to learn more about additional student funding programs like:
- Panthers Forward
- Pittsburgh Public Scholars
- Coalition for College
- Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration