The Keystone Promise Grant program serves students from certain western Pennsylvania counties with demonstrated financial need to help them afford higher education. This scholarship promises to bring a world-class Mercyhurst education into reach for thousands of students and families in these Pennsylvania counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland. 

Designed to meet 100 percent of unmet tuition costs in the first year of enrollment, Keystone Promise is available to students with financial need who:

  • Meet the university’s admissions standards for enrollment in a bachelor's degree program.
  • Enroll as first-time, full-time, traditional-aged undergraduate.
  • Receive a Federal Pell Grant.
  • Have resided in an eligible Pennsylvania county for at least two years prior to enrollment.

The amount of the Keystone Promise Grant varies by recipient and is a “last dollar” scholarship, determined by deducting Pell grants and/or other federal, state, or institutional aid from the base tuition price. Essentially, if you’re eligible for a Keystone Promise Grant, 100 percent of your tuition costs will be covered in your first year of enrollment. The grant does not cover fees, room, or board. 

The grant is renewable for four years at the same amount determined at the time of initial eligibility, provided you maintain satisfactory academic progress and file your FAFSA annually. Mercyhurst University reserves the right to amend the award based on any tuition updates. 

Who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant?

Eligibility for a Pell grant is determined by the U.S. Department of Education when a student submits their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Many factors go into determining Pell grant eligibility—in addition to family income, the number of people in your household, the number of family members attending college, and the school’s cost of attendance can influence eligibility. Because of these factors, there is no set income cutoff for Pell eligibility. To give you an idea of the profile of the typical Pell-eligible student, during the most recent financial aid year, 75 percent of Mercyhurst students who qualified for Pell grants came from families with household incomes below $54,000—but again, income is just one factor in determining eligibility. 

We strongly encourage you to file your FAFSA by March 1 each year to ensure your financial aid is accurate.

A Scholarship Rooted in Mercy

Since Mercyhurst’s founding in 1926, we’ve strived to uphold the Mercy Mission in all that we do—including providing a world-class university education to all who aspire to it. Through Keystone Promise, we’re furthering our mission-centered goals by bringing a quality Mercyhurst educational experience into reach for individuals and families in our region. This scholarship represents a vote of confidence in you and your potential to achieve great things.

Take These Next Steps

If you’re interested in learning more about your eligibility for the Keystone Promise Grant and how a Mercyhurst University education will prepare you for future success, we encourage you to:

  • Submit your free online Mercyhurst application.
  • File your FAFSA; you can find more details on how to do so here. Be sure to include Mercyhurst’s school code, 003297, on your FAFSA. 
  • Get in touch with your admissions counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or Office of Professional Admissions.