Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.57 / 4.00 Samantha Ford
Sustainability Projects Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of need met, on average, for students who were awarded any need-based aid :

Percentage of students graduating without student loan debt:

Percentage of entering students that are low-income:

Graduation/success rate for low-income students:

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

The University of Pittsburgh has a number of policies and programs that help make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students. These include:

1) All Pitt IDs area also free bus passes to help students commute to campus at no cost to them on local transit provided by Port Authority, the region’s transit provider.
2) All Pitt shuttles are also available for student commuting at no cost to students.
3) In Fall 2020, Pitt also began offering unlimited 30-minute rides on Pittsburgh’s bike share system (Healthy Ride) for all students and employees at no cost to them.
4) To help combat food insecurity, the University of Pittsburgh has a number of support systems, including operating the Pitt Pantry on-campus since 2015. In 2020, the University formalized its application-based Meal Scholarship program (application based) for students who need assistance.
5) Related to financial wellness, Pitt’s Financial Wellness Assistance Center educates students and their families about loans and budgeting best practices. Additionally, all students are required to complete “Grad Ready” financial literacy modules to understand what steps to take in order to pay for college, manage money, and repay student loans.
6) In emergencies, Pitt’s Student Emergency Assistance Fund provides financial support for degree-seeking students with unanticipated and insurmountable expenses related to emergency situations.
7) Since 2015, Pitt’s student-run thrift store (the University of Thriftsburgh) has provided a sustainable, low cost option for clothing and accessories. Thrift stores provide an important social and cultural amenity that help students feel connected to generational trends and aid in making college experiences (e.g. formals) more affordable overall. However, related to the numbers provided above, students that use Thriftsburgh were not included in the estimated percentage below because the store is not a targeted affordability program; it serves the entire community, including shoppers for whom the store is necessary along with more affluent shoppers.

See notes for links to each of these programs.

Additionally, in 2019, a student group worked with PittIT to add a "Live, Well, Pitt!" module to the Pitt Mobile app. This module includes information on financial wellness, emotional wellness, social wellness, physical wellness, environmental wellness, and sustainability on campus. The Office of Sustainability has taken over updating this information, but it is an excellent summary of many available resources.

A brief description of notable policies or programs to support non-traditional students:

The University of Pittsburgh has a variety of policies or programs to support non-traditional students; a few highlights include:

1) 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, Student Government, and other student groups. The center offers career advising, assistance with the enrollment process, and help with internal transfers. The McCarl Center 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.
Learn more about the McCarl Center: https://www.mccarl.pitt.edu/

2) College of General Studies Student Ambassadors Program was established to assist nontraditional first-year and transfer students with their college transition by pairing them with an experienced student who provides guidance and support throughout the new student’s first year. These ambassadors seek to ease the transition for new students the University culture.
Learn more about CGS Student Ambassadors: http://www.ieee-iri.org/cgs_subdomain/SG.html

3) The University’s Dietrich School of Arts ans Sciences houses the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program. The mission of TRIO SSS is to create an inclusive community for students so they can thrive and succeed by working together towards excellence. TRIO SSS focuses on helping first-generation and low-income students flourish at Pitt. SSS offers advising, skills- building workshops, leadership training, and academic tutoring as well as fun social outings and activities.
Learn more about TRIO SSS: https://www.asundergrad.pitt.edu/academic-experience/student-support-services

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:

Website URL where information about the institution’s accessibility and affordability initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

College of General Studies Student Ambassadors: : http://www.ieee-iri.org/cgs_subdomain/SG.html
Pitt Financial Wellness: https://financialaid.pitt.edu/financial-wellness/
Pitt Mobile App (look for Live, Well, Pitt! module: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.pitt.pittmobile
Pitt Pantry: http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/pittserves/the-pitt-pantry/
McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success: https://www.mccarl.pitt.edu
Student Emergency Assistance Fund: https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/dean/student-emergency-assistance-fund
Transit Rides via Port Authority for Pitt: www.pc.pitt.edu/transportation/agreement.php
TRIO SSS: https://www.asundergrad.pitt.edu/academic-experience/student-support-services
University of Thriftsburgh: http://www.universityofthriftsburgh.com

The estimated percentage of students that directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students includes the number of students that take public transportation, used the Healthy Ride bike share system in Fall 2020, utilize the Pitt Pantry, use the Student Emergency Assistant Fund, participate in TRIO programs, and were approved by the Meal Scholarship Program. As numbers were pulled from de-identified data sources, we expect duplicates in this dataset, but have no way to deduplicate at this time.

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.