Pennsylvania piles on benefits to state employees, including education costs

13 March 2024- The Shapiro Administration has added and enhanced benefits to make higher education more affordable for Commonwealth employees and their families.

The Office of Administration and ​York College of Pennsylvania have collaborated to offer a tuition discount to employees in participating Commonwealth agencies. The discount of up to 15 percent is available for the college’s graduate and professional programs.

Additionally, the Office of Administration and the PASSHE Foundation recently increased state system university scholarships for Commonwealth employees and their dependents to $3,000 for full-time and $1,500 for part-time students each academic year.

“Commonwealth employees have access to a wide array of training and development opportunities to help them gain updated skills and keep pace with advances in their career field,” said Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver. “Programs that help to defray the costs of college are another way that we can encourage employees to invest in themselves through lifelong learning. We appreciate the collaboration with Pennsylvania’s public and private higher education institutions to offer these exceptional growth opportunities to our workforce.”

The Commonwealth currently offers the following higher education benefits:

Scholarships

  • Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Scholarship Program provides scholarship opportunities to eligible Commonwealth employees and their dependents to attend a state system university. The program was recently updated to increase the scholarships up to $3,000 for full-time and $1,500 for part-time students each academic year. Previously, the scholarships were up to $2,000 for full-time and $1,000 for part-time students.

Tuition Assistance

  • York College of Pennsylvania offers a 15 percent discount on tuition for graduate and professional programs to eligible Commonwealth employees.
  • Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest) Global Online offers a 20 percent discount on tuition for their online undergraduate, master’s and certificate degree programs to eligible Commonwealth employees.
  • Discounted tuition rates available from Arizona Global Campus, Capella University, Chamberlain University, Devry University, Kean University, Penn Foster, Strayer University, and Walden University.

Student Loans

  • The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) offers an interest rate discount of 0.25% for Commonwealth employees who are a borrower or co-signer on new PA Forward loans.
  • Commonwealth employees may qualify for loan forgiveness through the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, or PSLF

Last month, the Office of Administration announced an increase in paid parental leave benefits from six to eight weeks, as well as new work/life benefits to aid in caring for loved ones and connecting to resources for a variety of daily needs. The Commonwealth also offers competitive pay, work-life balance, diverse and inclusive workplaces, and opportunities for advancement.