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Pitt Launches Groundbreaking Program in Ongoing Effort to Support Students With Financial Need


The University of Pittsburgh announced the creation of the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, kicking off the largest restructuring of financial aid in the institution’s nearly 232-year history.

The Pitt Success Pell Match Program will leverage the power of the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant program by matching these federal funds, dollar for dollar, up to the cost of attendance for eligible students across all five of Pitt’s campuses. The program is one of seven initiatives that the University has launched or added in recent years to help make Pitt more affordable and accessible for students and families.

“We want any prospective student with the desire and the qualifications to be able to attend the University of Pittsburgh and succeed,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said. “This program is one means to that end. It is part of a comprehensive charge that our University is advancing — one initiative at a time — to help all students access a Pitt education, afford a Pitt education and then excel in their Pitt education.”    

With this new initiative, the University’s total investment in students with financial need across all campuses will top $130 million in 2019–20 — a 47 percent increase compared to contributions five years ago.

The University enrolls roughly 5,000 students who receive Pell Grants, and the average grant awarded is $4,500. The Pitt Success Pell Match Program, which will begin matching Pell Grants for the 2019–20 academic year, will immediately reduce the total cost of a Pitt education for qualifying students and their families. The University estimates that 84 percent of recipients will be in-state students.

“Since my appointment, I have reflected on ensuring access to, and affordability of, a great Pitt education,” said Ann E. Cudd, who has just completed her first semester as Pitt’s provost and senior vice chancellor. “Today, with the launch of the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, I am very excited that we are taking another important step in our efforts to support inclusive excellence.”

For students on the University’s four regional campuses — where nine out of 10 students are Pennsylvania residents — this new initiative boosts the University’s investment in financial need by 68 percent and increases the University’s average financial aid award by 114 percent compared to five years ago.    

The University has recently launched six other access and affordability initiatives. These are Panthers Forward, Pittsburgh Public Scholars, the Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration, Pitt Fund$Me, Coalition for College and Raise Me.