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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

Pitt announces new ‘Finish Line’ grant to assist graduating low-income students in completing their degree

The+Cathedral+of+Learning.
Kaylee Uribe | Staff Photographer
The Cathedral of Learning.

“Earning a Pitt degree and wearing the cap and gown at commencement can be one of the proudest and most important days of one’s life,” Chancellor Joan Gabel said in a recent Pittwire press release. 

However, financial difficulties, including unpaid balances and financial holds, can pose an obstacle for Pitt students completing their degrees. 

In the fall of 2024, Pitt will implement a one-time, nonrenewable grant that will cover graduating low-income students’ unpaid balances and financial holds. The “Finish Line” grant is the latest step toward Pitt’s goal of creating an “inclusive and equitable campus.” The University has stated that starting in the fall of 2024, the financial aid office will contact students directly if they qualify for the grant. 

Gabel emphasized the Finish Line grant’s purpose of ensuring that undergraduate students have the resources they need to graduate.

“We realize that some students encounter unexpected financial difficulty when they’re so close to the goal of graduation,” Gabel said. “The Pitt Finish Line Grant is our way of directing resources to those students who need them most and help ensure they graduate on time.”

The grant will extend aid to students across all five of Pitt’s campuses, focusing on low-income and first-generation undergraduates. 

According to the CFO’s office, “funds for Finish Line grants will be incorporated into the University’s operating budget for the fiscal year 2025, reflecting the University’s commitment to increasing financial aid and making higher education affordable for our students.”

Students will be eligible for this grant if they are in their last two semesters of undergraduate study, have a FAFSA on file and have accepted any student loans or federal aid offered to them. Students also must have good academic standing with the University and have an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less. 

“Prioritizing support for economically disadvantaged students at all our campuses, the Pitt Finish Line Grant is a key initiative aimed at facilitating our students’ journey to a successful graduation,” Pitt’s financial aid website states. 

Sophomore engineering major Yanela Gonzalez said she supports the University’s commitment to its low-income students.

“I think it’s great that Pitt is supporting students who need the money to graduate, especially now with education prices increasing every year,” Gonzalez said. 

Undergraduate tuition rates in public universities have increased almost 10% since 2010 and continue to rise every year due to a surging demand for higher education. 

Sophomore political science major Rachel Pronesti said she has many friends who could qualify for the Finish Line grant because they are low-income students who are struggling to pay tuition as they get closer to graduation. 

“I have a lot of people from back home in my high school who, because I’m from a very low income area, would definitely benefit from that,” Pronesti said. “No one really goes to universities back where I’m from, so money is a giant factor in deciding where you go.”

Pronesti said she is excited to see the University take action to support its students. 

“I do think it’s really helpful. I mean, grants like that helped my parents get through college, because they only took their loans out in their name and they [had] no one else to pay for it,” Pronesti said. “So yeah, I think it’s a good idea. [I] just hope that the college will actually execute it and stand by their word.”

About the Contributor
Abby Lipold, Assistant News Editor
Abby Lipold is the Assistant News Editor for the News Desk. She is an English Nonfiction Writing major and is pursuing a BPhil in International and Area Studies. She has been writing for The Pitt News since January 2022. You can contact Abby at [email protected].