Pittman Hails Senate Passage of “Grow PA” Bills for Affordable Higher Ed and Career Prep

HARRISBURG – Thanks to the Grow PA package of bills passed by the Senate with bipartisan support today, tens of thousands of students would have more affordable post-secondary education and career preparation program options, said Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41).

The Grow PA plan would create and expand programs to connect students to high-demand careers in Pennsylvania. The bills would not only make education and career training more affordable, but also provide strong incentives for students to stay and work in the state for a period of time after completing their degrees and certifications. 

“This legislation represents a comprehensive, forward-thinking approach to postsecondary education to empower tens of thousands of students and strengthen the future workforce of Pennsylvania,” Pittman said. “While commonsense compromise certainly remains on the table, with the bipartisan Senate approval of Grow PA we have indeed taken a tremendous step towards a brighter future for Pennsylvania’s students.”

Grow PA Scholarships would be established for in-state students who attend college in Pennsylvania, pursue a degree in a high-demand industry, and agree to live and work in that industry in Pennsylvania after graduation. 

Grow PA Merit Scholarships would be created to allow high-performing, out-of-state students pursuing in-demand occupations to pay lower, in-state tuition at Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools. 

Ready to Succeed Scholarships would be expanded to help as many as 24,000 additional students cover post-secondary education costs.  

Fostering Independence Tuition Waivers would be expanded to nonresident students, waiving PASSHE tuition and fees for children in the foster care system and children who were adopted.  

Performance-based metrics would be added to funding for state-related universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Temple University to provide added accountability to taxpayers. 

A Higher Education Task Force would be created to improve higher education and career preparation programs. 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion would be required for high school seniors, ensuring families have access to vital information on higher education aid, career and technical education, certificate programs and more. 

Additionally, the Grow PA plan would include historic investments in career and technical education and dual enrollment. 

The package of legislation has been sent to the House of Representatives.


Media Contact: Kate Flessner kflessner@pasen.gov

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