Mercyhurst University is pleased to announce the Erie Promise Grant, a new 100 percent tuition scholarship for students from Erie County who enroll at Mercyhurst University or Mercyhurst North East! This scholarship promises to bring a world-class Mercyhurst education into reach for thousands of students and families in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Designed to meet 100 percent of unmet tuition costs, Erie Promise is available to students who meet the criteria for a federal Pell grant or PHEAA grant (or both) who also:

  • Meet the university’s admissions standards
  • Enroll as first-time, full-time undergraduates in Fall 2020 or thereafter
  • Have lived in Erie County (Pennsylvania) for at least one year prior to enrollment

The amount of the Erie Promise Grant varies and is determined by deducting all sources of gift aid—financial assistance that does NOT need to be repaid—from the base tuition price. Essentially, if you’re eligible for an Erie Promise Grant, 100 percent of your tuition costs will be covered. The grant does not cover fees, room, or board. The grant is renewable for four years, provided you maintain satisfactory academic progress.

In addition, students living on campus are also eligible for a $2,500 Erie Housing Grant. The grant is renewable for up to four years, provided you continue to live on campus and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant or PHEAA 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). 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.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) state grant program has slightly different and more expansive eligibility criteria. Generally, most students who qualify for Pell grants are also eligible for PHEAA support. PHEAA aid is also determined by a student’s FAFSA information. There are strict deadlines for qualifying for PHEAA—students pursuing bachelor’s degrees must submit the FASFA by May 1, and students pursuing associate degrees must submit the FAFSA by Aug. 1.

Regarding PHEAA grant eligibility, according to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, during the 2018-2019 award year:

  • 99 percent of applicants whose parents’ annual income was below $25,000 qualified
  • 98 percent of applicants whose parents’ annual income was $25,000-$49,999 qualified
  • 94 percent of applicants whose parents’ annual income was $50,000-$74,999 qualified
  • 68 percent of applicants whose parents’ annual income was $75,000-$99,999 qualified

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 Erie 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 Erie Promise Grant and how a Mercyhurst University education will prepare you for future success, we encourage you to:

  • Submit your free Mercyhurst application, available at
  • 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 Erie Office of Undergraduate Admissions or North East Office of Admissions.