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PLEASE NOTE:  Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Funds for the 2017/2018 fiscal year have been completely expended.   Should any additional funding become available we will prioritize any pending complete applications.  Any applications entered for courses beginning July 1, 2018 or after will be moved into the 2018/2019 fiscal year and will be evaluated once the 2018/2019 PA State Budget has passed into law.  

 Read the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program FAQ.

The RISING STARS TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM pays 95% of tuition costs for eligible college coursework taken by early learning professionals, with a maximum benefit of $6,000 per individual each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The program covers tuition costs only, and does not include books, materials, or fees. Tuition costs net of other funding sources such as scholarships, stipends, discounts or grants (except Pell Grants) are used to determine the amount of assistance.  Please submit a completed application at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the course or prior to the tuition due date, whichever is sooner.

Beginning December 1, 2016, applicants to the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program will no longer be required to submit a course description when applying for an Associate, Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

When applying to the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program for courses toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, Director Credential, or movement on the Career Lattice, applicants will still be required to submit course descriptions.

Effective, July 1, 2016, applicants will be able to enter multiple courses for a Semester into one application for the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program.  When completing an application to add an additional course please go to Section 4 Course Information and click on the link CLICK HERE TO ADD A COURSE. 

Applicants will no longer be required to submit a PA State Certificate of Compliance or a Keystone STARS Certificate with their supporting documentation.



  • Pennsylvania resident;
  • Working at a Keystone STARS designated early learning program including Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts and demonstrates continuous employment for at least 12 months;
  • Working a minimum of twenty (20) hours weekly in a classroom setting or as the director, assistant director or education coordinator;
  • Aides, Assistant Teachers, Teachers, Assistant Directors: Earning less than $$40,000 annually;
  • Child Care Center Directors, Family or Group Child Care Home Owners/Operators, Head Start Education Managers, Coordinators, Site Supervisors: Earning less than $50,000 annually;
  • Agreeing to continue to work in a Keystone STARS facility for 2 months for every credit supported by the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program (maximum commitment of 24 months); and
  • Maintaining a 3.0 GPA for the classes taken or degree program in which the student is enrolled.


The Start date of the course determines the Fiscal Year.  For Fiscal Year 2015-16, courses with a start date of July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, must be submitted to the Program in complete form (Application with all supporting documentation) by June 30, 2016.  For Fiscal Year 2016-17, courses with a start date of July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 must be submitted to the Program in complete form (Application with all supporting documentation) by June 30, 2017.

Please have your Director complete the Employer Attestation Form and submit the form by attaching it to your application, by fax to 717-213-0585 or 717-213-0584 or you may mail the form.

* Fiscal Year 2016-17 (July 1 – June 30) will serve as a transition year and applicants are able to apply for T.E.A.C.H. if they have already received Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program funds. 



Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program – Facility Supplement is contingent on the availability of funds.  Rising STARS Tuition Assistance – Facility Supplement requests will be processed based on submission dates of complete applications each semester.  Incomplete applications cannot be processed and will be returned.  Please click here to access the application.  Applications from students enrolling in classes will be given priority for processing and approval.

For more information about the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program, the CDA Assessment Fee Voucher Program and/or T.E.A.C.H., please visit the Financial Assistance page on the PA Key website.