During his junior year of high school, Wade Lipscomb enlisted in the military because he didn’t know how he would pay for college. That would soon change.
He learned of a new program called The Pittsburgh Promise, which would provide $5,000 a year, over four years, to him and other eligible students in Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] to attend college in Pennsylvania. Lipscomb applied to colleges with the encouragement of a school counselor, got out of his military contract and enrolled in Pennsylvania State University’s petroleum and natural gas engineering program in 2010.
“It was a big part in really getting me to think about college being an option, and then also helping me pay for it,” Lipscomb said of the Promise. He took out an estimated $15,000 in loans, which he paid off two years after graduating in 2014, and started his own construction company in 2021.