Joins legislators and partners in Westmoreland County to highlight higher education investment
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today was joined by key county partners including Senators Kim Ward and Pat Stefano, and a representative from Senator Jim Brewster’s office along with Representatives Eric Nelson, Mike Reese and Justin Walsh, to highlight treasury’s new scholarship grant program, Keystone Scholars. Designed to help encourage higher education aspirations and to help families start saving early, Torsella launched the Keystone Scholars program to provide a $100 scholarship grant to every child born or adopted in Pennsylvania to be used towards college and career expenses. A six-county demonstration project—financed through private funds—is available now; proposed legislation would make the scholarship grant program available to every child statewide.
“As a parent, one of the greatest joys is to watch that new baby grow, and think about what their future could look like. But it can be hard to know where to start saving to make that future possible. Keystone Scholars helps us get started on that path together. I’m so proud to join our Westmoreland County partners to launch this program, and to begin our investment in Pennsylvania’s kids right here.”
Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella
As part of Treasurer Torsella’s kick-off in Westmoreland County, he held a press conference at the County Courthouse with local partners and toured Excela Health’s Westmoreland Hospital. Treasury’s growing list of partners in the county includes: State legislators, Westmoreland County, Excela Health, United Way of Southwestern PA, the Women’s Auxiliary, the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, and the Westmoreland County Intermediate Unit.
The hospital visit included a tour of the Family Additions Center at Excela. During the tour, the Treasurer had the opportunity to meet a family that recently welcomed a baby. Before leaving the hospital, the family received registration information for the Keystone Scholars scholarship grant program.
Treasurer Torsella unveiled the Keystone Scholars program in February 2018, which included the announcement of a demonstration project for all families living in Delaware, Elk, Indiana, Luzerne, Mifflin, and Westmoreland counties. Treasury raised $2.25 million in private funds to finance the demonstration project, so that every baby born or adopted from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019 within the six-counties will be eligible for a $100 scholarship grant. Families have until the child’s first birthday to claim the Keystone Scholarship.
The scholarship grant will grow through investment. Families have until their child turns 29 years old to use the funds. The scholarship grant – and any additional college savings each family saves by opening a PA 529 account – can be used for any qualified higher education expense at an approved institution of higher education, including trade schools, vocational programs, community colleges, and universities in or outside Pennsylvania.
All funds for the demonstration project are coming from philanthropic sources that include the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Foundation and the Neubauer Family Foundation. The demonstration project also includes The National Philanthropic Trust and research support from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Duke University’s Common Cents Lab.
Families can preregister their child for Keystone Scholars at www.pa529.com/keystone by clicking on Sign Up. Once they have received their child’s birth certificate, they can log back in to finish their registration. Keystone Scholarships are available to children born in 2018 and 2019 to families living in the six demonstration project counties.