Early data indicates that recipients of the Pittsburgh Promise are persevering in college, a University of Pittsburgh researcher said today during the scholarship program's annual report to the community.
Seventy-six percent of 2008 and 2009 Promise recipients returned for their second year of college, Jennifer Iriti of Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center, said. That's higher than the 66 percent retention rate of students in an American College Testing sample from the same years, she said.
Ms. Iriti stressed the need to make the Promise the center of an "ecosystem" of government and civic groups working to prepare high school students for college and beyond.
Saleem Ghubril, the Promise's executive director, said 3,280 students who graduated city high schools and charter schools from 2008 to 2011 have received scholarships. So, far, he said, the program has raised $160 million toward its fund-raising goal of $250 million.
If any city in the nation can meet such an ambitious fund-raising challenge, "it is this community," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, co-founder of the Promise, said.
The Promise, which aims both to help students afford college and draw residents to the city, this morning also announced a program to attract Hispanic immigrants here.