Laurel Wilson | Staff Writer & Gabriella DiPietro | News Editor
Due to financial reasons, many individuals cannot afford to go to college, let alone attend graduate school. But local universities partnered with Pittsburgh Promise are attempting to change these circumstances.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Nov. 14, Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) announced that they will now be offering Pittsburgh Promise alumni scholarships for graduate school equal to 30 percent of the price of tuition.
Eligible undergraduate Promise students will be offered the opportunity to receive scholarships for Duquesne’s various business, liberal arts, education and natural and environmental sciences graduate programs.
At CMU, specifically its Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, eligible students will be offered aid per semester if enrolled in one of the university’s professional master’s programs, according to university officials. These programs include arts and entertainment, cybersecurity, information technology, healthcare and public policy.
Duquesne University is a founding preferred college partner of the Pittsburgh Promise, offering housing awards and aid to eligible Promise students at the undergraduate level, in addition to academic support services that aim to ensure Promise-student retention and success at the university. According to the university officials, approximately 250 Duquesne undergraduate students receive Pittsburgh Promise scholarships.
David Fortna, associate director of graduate admissions at Duquesne, explained the university’s long-standing relationship with the Pittsburgh Promise, offering students opportunities at the undergraduate level.
“With the impact and growth the Promise has had since it began, expanding efforts to support Promise alumni at the graduate level seemed like a great next step,” Fortna said. “It’s important for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania that Pittsburgh Promise alumni have access to high-quality graduate education.”
The Pittsburgh Promise aims to provide all children with the opportunity to continue their education after high school. According to its website, the organization has a vision of “a future where all our urban youth are equipped to reach post-secondary success, our public schools serve all children excellently, our city is flourishing in all its neighborhoods and our workforce is widely diverse and highly skilled to advance a region that is good and just for all.”
With a growing demand for professionals with advanced education, Fortna shared how Duquesne’s efforts will aid Promise alumni meet this demand, while also aligning with the university’s mission and goals.
“Access to high-quality education in a supportive and inclusive environment is important for Pittsburgh,” Fortna said. “We hope that this scholarship is incentive for those with roots in Pittsburgh to advance their education and build a future here.”
Visit www.duq.edu/promise-alum to learn more about eligibility, available programs and other project details.
Correction: a quote attributed to David Fortna was inaccurate and has since been removed from the article.