The plan for Pennsylvania to reset higher-education affordability started with Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s report, “The Pennsylvania Promise: Making College Affordable and Securing Pennsylvania’s Economic Future.” Click here to read the full report. It advocates for more affordable access to post-secondary education in Pennsylvania, which has suffered decades of disinvestment. As a result, students are picking up more and more of the tab, leaving school with thousands of dollars in debt — if they can afford to attend college at all.

In June 2018, legislators introduced Pennsylvania Promise bills: Sen. Vincent J. Hughes was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 1111, and Rep. James Roebuck was the primary sponsor of House Bill 2444.

For the 2019–20 session, lawmakers reintroduced legislation as Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 244.

Pennsylvania could promise to:

  • Cover up to four years of tuition and fees at one of the Commonwealth’s 14 public community colleges — or until an associate degree is complete

  • Cover four years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate with a family income less than or equal to $110,000 per year accepted into one of the 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education

  • Provide four years of tuition and fees not to exceed the State System tuition rate, depending on family income, for students accepted into a state-related university

  • Finance the expansion of grant assistance to adults seeking in-demand skills and industry-recognized credentials, as well as college credit

Click here to download at PDF of information about college affordability and student debt.