Hamlin Bank contributes $100,000 to dual enrollment programs

Hamlin donation
President Alexander and Hamlin CEO Martin Digel

Hamlin Bank andTrust Co. of Smethport has made a $100,000 contribution to Pitt-Bradford that will allow more high school students to take advantage of a program that allows them to earn college credit at minimal cost. 

            The contribution is the second part of a two-year $200,000 commitment the bank made to Pitt-Bradford last year. It is made possible through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The funds will be distributed to Pitt-Bradford over a two-year period. 

            Pitt-Bradford has two programs in which students can earn both high school and college credits for the same course, College in the High School and BRIDGES. Hamlin Bank’s contribution has allowed Pitt-Bradford to increase participation across more school districts in the region.

In the BRIDGES program, high school students attend Pitt-Bradford classes on campus with regular college students. In College in the High School, which Pitt-Bradford now offers in21 high schools throughout the region, qualified teachers teach Pitt-Bradford courses during regular school time, and students are able to earn college credit.

Contributions provided last year through Hamlin Bank and other local businesses allowed Pitt-Bradford to add new districts to the College in the High School program this fall, including Brookville, Forest, Kane, Port Allegany, Oil City, Johnsonburg and three more high schools in the Warren Area School District.

Unlike the Advanced Placement exam, which requires that students make a final score on an AP test at the end of the semester or year, College in the High School students follow the same syllabus as the students at Pitt-Bradford, cover the same material and take the same final exam. Students have the added benefit of studying a semester’s worth of college material over the course of an entire academic year.

Courses offered range from first-year math and composition to more specialized first-year courses such as petroleum technology, cinema, geography, Spanish, accounting, sociology and more. The additional funding provided through Hamlin Bank and other local businesses has allowed Pitt-Bradford to offer the classes for $25 each.

            Hamlin Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank and offers a variety of financial and trust services. Established in 1863, Hamlin Bank was the first bank to serve the communities of McKean County.

The bank made its contribution through the special state program that allows it to receive tax credits for its gift. Companies have to pre-qualify with the state on a strict schedule, as did Pitt-Bradford.

Interested businesses that must pay certain types of taxes in the state of Pennsylvania may qualify to redirect up to $750,000 of their PA tax liability to an approved Educational Improvement Organization such as Pitt-Bradford. The taxes include Corporate Net Income Tax, Capital Stock Franchise Tax, Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax, Title Insurance Company Shares Tax, Insurance Premiums Tax, Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax and some Subchapter S-corporations.

For more information on whether a business may qualify for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, contact Rick Esch, vice president of business affairs at Pitt-Bradford, at (814)362-0992 or esch@pitt.edu.