HARRISBURG – Working to bring fairness and equality for students seeking a higher education, Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland) yesterday introduced legislation that would create a Pennsylvania College Voucher Program. The program would provide grants directly to students interested in technical schools, community colleges, schools within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), private colleges and major universities. Nelson’s plan would include a five-year phase-in, so existing university students would not be impacted. Nelson’s plan would redirect more than $580 million in taxpayer dollars previously allocated exclusively to the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Penn State University. It would instead be used to expand the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which has a proven record of success in managing financial aid for students. Under Nelson’s bill, direct yearly grants of up to $8,000 would be available to students in households earning up to $100,000. Students in households earning between $100,000 to $250,000 would receive direct yearly grants of up to $4,000. Nelson noted the schools could also continue providing additional tuition assistance to students using their own assets, as many do currently. House Bill 2639 will likely be referred to the House Education Committee for consideration.