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The Keystone State holds us up, laying a strong foundation brick by brick!

When visiting the state of Pennsylvania, the words “Welcome” and “Pursue Your Happiness” ring loudly like the state’s beloved landmark, the Liberty Bell.  These inspiring sentiments from the Keystone State are also echoed in the Act 101 Educational Opportunity Program.  This state-funded program celebrates fifty years of opening the doors of educational opportunity and welcoming individuals to pursue their potential in accessing higher education.  Pennsylvania’s Act 101 Program emulates the symbolism of the Keystone by supporting its neighboring states with their own equal opportunity programs.

Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Act 101 Program, the face of higher education in the Commonwealth, with all of its support services and a large network of dedicated professionals staying connected. The Act 101 Programs are coordinated by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (P.H.E.E.A) Act 101 Program (


Having a reverence for the history of the Act 101 Program not only connects the past with the present but continues to pave the future of opportunity in the lives of those accessing higher education in the Commonwealth.
Take a moment to reflect upon our past Keystone colleagues, pioneers, and champions of the cause to ensure equal educational opportunity for Pennsylvania residents. Read more about Pennsylvania’s history.

Celebrating Over 50 Years of  the Act 101 Program!

July 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Equal Opportunity Act of 1971, through which the Pennsylvania General …


Political advocacy is seldom an activity that attracts educators, counselors and other professionals.   Yet, all the amazing activities that support our students could not happen without the funding provided through the state legislature.  In Pennsylvania, we know the importance of political advocacy as thousands of eligible, deserving students are denied the intensive, individually-designed support that Act 101 programs provide because the state government has neglected funding the programs at the appropriate level. 

In 2008, there were programs at 76 institutions serving over 12,000 students.  When the proposed state budget eliminated funding for the program, the Directors’ Association reorganized to advocate for educational opportunity.  While successful in retaining the programs when many others were eliminated, Act 101 experienced a devastating 75% cut in funding.   By 2010, 38 programs served fewer than 3,500 students.