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Governor Corbett Visits Lebanon Valley College and Urges Action on Scholarship Proposal

Governor Corbett recently visited Lebanon Valley College to discuss his proposed Ready to Succeed Scholarship program, a $25 million appropriation that would help increase college accessibility and decrease the student loan debt burden on middle income students in Pennsylvania. The governor spoke to a crowd of presidents and vice presidents from 40 Pennsylvania colleges and universities at the campus in Annville on Thursday, April 17th.

"I believe that when it comes to our students in Pennsylvania, a little help at the right time can make a world of difference," said Governor Corbett. "The Ready to Succeed Scholarship is our way to securing a better future for students, giving them a ladder to another level of success."

The scholarship program would provide $2,000 to sophomores, juniors and seniors whose family income is less than $110,000 per year and who have a GPA of 3.25 or higher. The merit-based program would be administered by PHEAA and would enhance the existing PHEAA grant program. Tens of thousands of students across the Commonwealth would benefit from the scholarship program.

AICUP President Don Francis said, “AICUP applauds Governor Corbett for including new funds in his budget proposal to help middle income students and their families pay for college. Recent research shows that students from middle income families actually assume the most student loan debt because they are generally not eligible for federal and state student grant aid, yet do not have sufficient income to pay tuition and other expenses out of pocket. With his proposal, Governor Corbett addresses this problem in the most efficient and direct way by targeting new state dollars to this group of middle income students.”

"Governor Corbett's proposal to provide grants to middle-class students fulfills the very essence of our mission at Lebanon Valley College, which is expanding access to higher education," said LVC President Dr. Lewis E. Thayne. "I am gratified that so many of my colleagues are here to learn more about this very important initiative to make college more affordable as it becomes increasingly necessary in today's economy."

AICUP, a vocal supporter of scholarship opportunities for middle income students, has been working with legislators to support increased funding for student aid and focused the messaging of its 2014 Student Lobby Day on the Ready to Succeed Scholarships.

To learn more about the Ready to Succeed Scholarships and to get involved and email your legislator, please visit the PA Alliance for Student Support Web site at To download a template letter of support, please click here. View more pictures from the event on AICUP's Facebook page.

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Mount Aloysius College President: The Real Box Score


In this recent op-ed, Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley asks U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to develop a better scorecard system that will more fairly judge colleges and universities. President Foley lays out his case by presenting the contributing factors that can result in an unfair assessment while using an interesting sports metaphor.

This article can be read in its entirety by clicking here.


Misericordia University President: Future Looks Bright as Governments Invest in Education

In this recent op-ed, Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, PhD, discusses the benefits available to students pursuing a postsecondary education, and the ways that those benefits are becoming more easily accessible. Governments are recognizing the need for students to be able to attain those goals and are investing in initiatives that will help them do so, including Gov. Corbett's Ready to Succeed Scholarships.

This article can be read in its entirety by clicking here.


Alvernia University President: "Scholarships Develop Future Leaders"

In this recent op-ed, Alvernia University President Thomas Flynn discusses the benefits of Governor Corbett's proposed Ready to Succeed Scholarships (RTSS) initiative designed for middle income studnets and well as the REading Collegiate Scholars Program (RCSP) launched in January by Alvernia University in partnership with the Olivet Boys & Girls Club.  President Flynn says, "Our greatest natural resources are today’s students and tomorrow’s citizens and community leaders. Initiatives like the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program and the Governor’s new RTSS scholarship program are steps in the right direction for our Commonwealth and our community."

This article can be read in its entirety by clicking here.



Misericordia University President: "Proposed Scorecard for Higher Ed Misses the Mark"


Misericordia University President Thomas Botzman discusses the difficulties of using  the proposed federal scorecard to rate colleges and universities based on selected data.

This article can be read in its entirety by clicking here


Yes We Must Coalition Hosts National Conference

The Yes We Must Coalition will be hosting "Fulfilling Our Responsibility: Higher Education for the New Student Majority," a national conference to be held at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Northbrook, IL April 23-25, 2014.  All organizations, institutions of higher education, access agencies, researchers, academics, and others committed to increasing college access and completion success among low-income and 1st generation students - the new student majority - are invited to attend.  

For more information on the conference, click here.

AICUP Fast Facts


A recent report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers provides clear evidence of the economic value of a four-year college degree. The authors of the report use data from the Census Bureau to examine the actual wage and salary income of employed persons age 18 to 64 years working full-time. 
In general, higher levels of education are associated with higher incomes. For Pennsylvania, the report shows that workers with a bachelor’s degree had a median income of $48,366 compared to a median income of $30,754 for those with only a high school diploma. Pennsylvania workers with an associate’s degree had a median income of $37,422.   The highest median income ($67,033) was associated with Pennsylvania workers with a graduate or professional degree.
Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers (2012). The Economic Benefit of Postsecondary Degrees: A State and National Level Analysis.

For more information on the Economic Benefit of a College Degree, click here.