Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Foundation are partnering to provide $5 million in scholarship funding for commonwealth employees and dependents who pursue higher education in the State System.

This program expands the collaboration between Pennsylvania Western University, PASSHE and the governor’s office – which provides a 20% discount tuition rate for commonwealth employees.

“I am proud to launch this scholarship program to support our employees – and their families –in achieving their dreams for a higher education,” Wolf said.

Wolf’s administration authorized the $5 million to the PASSHE Foundation, which operates as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization to serve the State System through development and implementation of scholarships.

Beginning with spring2023, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees and eligible dependents will be able to apply to the PASSHE Foundation 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.

­­­­­­Through the PennWest tuition discount, state employees will be able to earn an online degree from Pennsylvania Western University at a 20% discounted tuition rate for more than 150 undergraduate and graduate programs offered by PennWest Global Online.

 “PennWest is committed to the needs of Pennsylvania’s adult learners, including state employees,” said Dr. Erinn Lake, vice president for strategic enrollment and Global Online advancement. “The agreement makes earning an advanced degree more attainable and affordable for our workforce.”

 Cynthia Shapira, chairperson for the PASSHE Board of Governors, lauded the investment and the partnership, which will directly impact employees of Pennsylvania.

 “We are proud to have a strong partnership with the commonwealth, and we applaud Governor Wolf’s $5 million investment in scholarships for state employees and their dependents at State System universities,” 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,” she said. “These scholarships will further those efforts and open doors of opportunity for many students and working adults.”

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