Black Males Show Significant Progress in the Pittsburgh Promise College Scholarship Program

The Pittsburgh Promise provides up to $10,000 annually for college to students who graduate from the Pittsburgh public schools. Students need a grade point average of 2.5 and an attendance record of at least 90 percent to qualify for the awards, which apply only to those students who enroll at an accredited college or university in Pennsylvania. Students need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in college to be eligible for the awards to continue after their freshman year.

In the first year of the program in 2008, 96 black males and 205 black females received Pittsburgh Promise scholarships. That year 890 African-American students graduated from Pittsburgh high schools.

But despite lower overall enrollments and tougher eligibility standards, black scholarship winners increased in 2010. That year, 124 black males and 200 black females earned Pittsburgh Promise scholarships.

Black males who make up about 26 percent of the total enrollments in the school district accounted for 13.2 percent of all Pittsburgh Promise scholarships in 2008 and 17.6 percent of all scholarships in 2010.