KUTZTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Tom Wolf visited Kutztown and East Stroudsburg universities, two stops of his 14 state-owned university tour to discuss the Nellie Bly Scholarship Program which could help at least 25,000 students.
“There is a student loan debt crisis across our country. It’s a burden on young people and their families that can last for years and holds them back,” Wolf said in a statement. “The Nellie Bly Scholarship Program will help young people to build lives in our communities rather than struggling to pay student loan bills every month.”
The scholarship looks to plug gaps in other aid programs so that thousands of students can afford college education with less debt.
The goal is so “graduates can buy a car and a home, start a family and save for retirement. The program also strengthens our 14 public universities and creates a talented labor force that Pennsylvania needs to thrive,” Wolf continued.
The Nellie Bly Scholarship is a last-dollar-in program and would apply after a student’s Pell and other state grants.
There are several requirements to be eligible for the scholarship, however.
Students must be enrolled full-time at a PASSHE undergraduate program and qualify for a federal subsidized student loan. Students must also commit to live in Pennsylvania after graduation for the same number of years they received the scholarship. If a student leaves the state early, they must repay the money.
The program will be funded by repurposing revenues from the Horse Racing Development Fund annually.
The scholarship was named after Nellie Bly, an Armstrong County native born in 1864 and attended the now named Indiana University of Pennsylvania, but left due to the cost. Bly later became a journalist who helped shift reforms to the mental health care system in the 20th century.
More information about the scholarship can be found here.