Merski: More than 650 students received nearly $2 million in state grant aid

ERIE, March 14 – State grants totaling nearly $2 million went to help 658 students in the House’s   2nd Legislative District for the 2018-19 school year, state Rep. Bob Merski, 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.

“It’s extremely encouraging to see this funding going to help students in our district with the costs of higher education,” Merski said. “There are lots of industrious young Pennsylvanians in our area, but many face an uphill battle when it comes to shouldering the costs of higher education. Helping defray some of those costs is an investment that pays off on so many levels, not just for students but for our region, as graduates find jobs and reinvest back in the economy.”

The grants were funded by an appropriation from the General Assembly, which provided the program $273 million. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency – which administers the program – supplemented that amount by committing $101 million from its reserves. The combined funding set the maximum grant award at $4,123 for about 140,000 full- and part-time, qualifying students.

In addition to the state grants, 12 students in the district received nearly $18,000 from the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, and 25 students received more than $97,500 from the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program.

The funds go directly to students, as PHEAA pays all costs to administer the program at no expense to taxpayers.

Merski urged residents interested in learning more about the state’s student aid programs to contact his district office at (814) 455-6319 or to visit PHEAA's website at www.PHEAA.org.