Bizzarro: Nearly 850 students received almost $2.4 million in state grant aid

ERIE, March 7 – State grants totaling nearly $2.4 million went to assist 844 students in the state’s 3rd Legislative District, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today.

The awards were made under the Pennsylvania State Grant Program, which assists eligible Pennsylvania students who demonstrate financial need in pursuing higher education.

"Our students are the future of Erie, and one of the most essential investments the state can make,” Bizzarro said. “Our district is home to so many talented young Pennsylvanians who want only to learn, to flourish, and to start productive careers here in the region. The financial challenges of higher education can be a major obstacle to that. It’s great to know state funds are helping our area students defray the costs as they reap the benefits.”

Bizzarro noted that the grants were funded by an appropriation from the General Assembly, which provided the program $273 million for the 2018-19 award year. To supplement that amount, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency – which administers the grant program – committed $101 million from its reserves. The combined funding set the maximum grant award at $4,123 to approximately 140,000 full- and part-time, qualifying students.

In addition to the state grants, 21 students in the district received more than $36,000 from the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, and 23 students received nearly $88,000 from the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program.

All money appropriated goes directly to students, as PHEAA pays all costs to administer the program at no expense to taxpayers.

Bizzarro urged residents interested in learning more about the many student aid programs available to Pennsylvania students to contact his district office at (814) 835-2880 or to visit PHEAA's website at www.PHEAA.org.