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University of Pittsburgh Announces Program to Reduce Student Debt


The University of Pittsburgh is taking steps to address concerns of increasing debt burden on students.

On Tuesday, the university announced Panthers Forward, a new program to support students for a successful career and reduce student loan debt.

The program will initially accommodate 150 seniors and will add up $5,000 to the participating federal student loan balance. The initiative will also provide participants with an exclusive access to the network of alumni-mentors who are dedicated to supporting their professional success.

“Panthers Forward injects some much-needed innovation into the stagnant landscape of higher education financing,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “It’s a bold new approach that utilizes a pay-it-forward philosophy and the power of community to position students at the University of Pittsburgh for lifelong success.”

The University has collaborated with Altian Education, a firm founded by the alumni, for the program’s launch.

“Panthers Forward is not something we’ve seen before,” said Pat O’Donnell, Altian Education co-founder. “It is taking one of the most pressing issues facing students today — college debt — and creating a new option that’s more financially flexible, collaborative and professionally focused.”

The program is open to full-time students, who have received a federal loan to finance their education. They must be graduating from the university in the spring of 2019.

Applications for the program are being accepted through October 31, 2018.

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