Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.76
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pittsburgh
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Lisa Garland
Diversity and Multi-Cultural Program Manager
Diversity and Inclusion
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

1) Pitt's bicycling programs and partnership with the Port Authority to use Pitt student IDs as free bus passes help students commute affordably to campus.
2) The University operates an on-campus food pantry, the Pitt Pantry.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The Center for Urban Education (CUE):
-Community Partnership and Engagement:
CUE is a research center, but the success of its findings, projects, and progress in influencing practice is dependent on community partnership and engagement, which it facilitates through its Community Partnership & Engagement (CPE) affinity group. CUE works in partnership with numerous collaborators, ranging from school districts and administrators to community councils and foundations, and from government contacts and offices to local and regional parent/teacher organizations.
-Educator Development and Practice:
The Educator Preparation & Development (EDP) affinity group works to devise, document, and deliver the tools and processes teachers and administrators need for improving urban school systems. CUE strives to be an educator training and professional development facility of the highest order for educators in the region, while developing, delivering, and documenting processes and tools that can yield major improvement in urban school systems.
-Student Academic & Social Development:
The Student Academic and Social Development (SASD) affinity group focuses on experiences and support of students at all levels. Through research, practice, and school and community partnerships, SASD works to study and enhance student-learned, academic, and social development.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

First-Generation College Student and Their Family:
The Office of Parent and Family Resources and Student Support Services welcome students who are the first in their families to attend a 4-year college. The session talks about support services beyond the classroom and how families can play a supportive role.

African American Alumni Council Parent and Family Dialogue and Reception
Members of the AAAC meet with parents, guardians, family members, and friends to discuss important issues related to helping students to succeed at Pitt.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

-The National Science Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and its Office of Diversity (EOD) have established the Global Engineering Preparedness Scholarship program (GEPS). GEPS helps to support the recruitment, retention and graduation of low-income students from underrepresented minorities and majority populations. GEPS also prepares students for the global marketplace by offering international opportunities that students would not normally be able to participate without additional supporting funds.
-The K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship Program is designed to address the critical need to recruit and retain graduate and professional students who contribute to the diversity of the Swanson School of Engineering, and to ultimately enhance presence of such students in the professorate. The award is named for distinguished Pitt alumni K. Leroy Irvis. In 1977, Mr. Irvis became the first African American in the history of any of the 50 state governments to hold the position of Speaker of the House. Irvis Fellowships are awarded to incoming students through the School's academic departments. Fellowships are awarded on the strength of the student's graduate application. In order to integrate students into the research dimension of the professorate, first year Irvis fellows are assigned to work one-on-one with faculty mentors who guide them in specialized research. In their second and third years of residence, fellows are supported by their departments and obtain valuable classroom teaching experience in addition to continued exposure to the research environment.
-The purpose of the Roberto O. Agbede Student Award is to provide recognition and financial assistance to three outstanding undergraduate students in the Swanson School of Engineering who have demonstrated a financial need (eligible for assistance under the guidelines of Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). The student award is designed to support and encourage students with significant need coming from an underprivileged and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Consideration for the student award shall be given to all undergraduate students in the Swanson School of Engineering who have achieved or manifest promise of outstanding academic success.
-Admitted freshmen from underrepresented groups are reviewed for academically competitive scholarships. The Cathedral of Learning Achievement Scholarship ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 to $15,000. The Cathedral of Learning Prestige Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship.
-In addition, Pitt also awards full scholarships that cover tuition, mandatory fees, and room/board. They also include a one-time $500 book award and a $2,000 scholarship to be used for undergraduate research or study abroad. The full scholarships include named awards for incoming freshmen from underrepresented groups admitted to the following schools:
Donald Henderson Scholarship: Swanson School of Engineering
Helen Faison Scholarship: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Robert Lavelle Scholarship: College of Business Administration
Adena Davis Scholarship: School of Nursing

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

- Pittsburgh Admissions Collaborative (PAC):  The goal of this partnership program is to provide a pathway for Pittsburgh Public Schools students to the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and the University of Pittsburgh, with the goal of supporting students for successfully earning a college degree.  The program includes early college awareness and readiness for select middle school students.  https://oafa.pitt.edu/pac/.
-RAISE.ME Micro-Scholarships: High school students from low-income families can earn money for positive performance beginning in the 9th grade of high school. https://www.raise.me/join/pitt.
-Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success:  Inaugural member; Through the Coalition, we are also partnering with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to encourage applications and relationship building, including a successful event with Chicago Scholars in October. The goal is to improve the application process and continue to build relationships. The Coalition platform provides an opportunity to engage high school students as early as ninth grade. http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/.
-Civil rights bus trip, Pitt to You, current students will welcome first year incoming Chinese students and answers questions about what it's like to be a Pitt student, Women lead Living Learning Communities with class taught by faculty by Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Group Session started by University Counseling Center "Panthers of Color".
-The RISE program was created to meet the unique needs of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented students over time. Furthermore, by specifically addressing students’ academic problem areas by providing tutoring and mentoring services, the RISE program counters some of the effects of the cultural inequities of disadvantaged groups early on in their college careers. Tutoring students in math, science, writing skills and providing book scholarships helps place them on the same level with other students, while helping them better identify their academic strengths. Students are then able to make better college-related academic decisions as well as personal decisions. Lack of awareness about academic and career interests can create frustration in students leading to high dropout rates.
-Pittsburgh Public Scholars program:
All valedictorians and salutatorians from Pittsburgh Public Schools high schools or charter high schools are eligible. Guarantees admission to any University of Pittsburgh campus and a scholarship of at least $2,000 annually for up to four years.
Guarantees to meet the full financial need of valedictorians and salutatorians who are Federal Pell Grant recipients. Eligible students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have applied to the University of Pittsburgh.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

-Free tutoring support
-Culturally relevant advising
-First year experience programs
-Living Learning Communities
-Support groups at the counseling center
-Community college bridge programs
-Race conscious scholarships

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

- New Student Commonwealth Scholarship - This scholarship is available to underrepresented students who are transferring to CGS from an area community college, have earned or will earn an associate's degree, and should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Recipients receive a tuition and fees scholarship for enrollment in Mastering the University, a first-year transfer experience course. Recipients of the New Student Commonwealth Scholarship are automatically reviewed for academic year scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, and may be eligible to receive future scholarships.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The Office of Child Development is a university-community partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and families. Through interdisciplinary collaborations across research, practice, and policy, we strive to turn knowledge into action and respond creatively and collaboratively to challenges facing children in Pittsburgh and around the world.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The McCarl Center, for Nontraditional Student Success, regularly hosts academic success programs, career development seminars, and tutoring sessions, as well as many social and networking activities offered by the College of General Studies Alumni Society, the CGS Student Government, and other student groups. The center offers career advising, assistance with the enrollment process, and help with internal transfers.
-The center offers a number of services including: learning skills and academic success seminars; individual career counseling and career seminars; math tutoring; and a variety of student activities sponsored by the CGS Student Government.
- There is also the College of General Studies Student Ambassadors Program. The CGS Student Ambassador Program was established to assist nontraditional first-year and transfer students with their college transition by pairing them with an experienced CGS student who provides guidance and support throughout the new student’s first year. Our ambassadors seek to ease the transition for new students into CGS and the University culture.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.