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Grants Will Help Support Students and Boost Graduation Rates

Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Anthony Brindisi today announced more than $800,000 in grant funding for Utica College, Binghamton University, and Cazenovia College. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services (SSS) program, whose goal is to increase college retention and graduation rates.

Utica College and Binghamton University were each awarded $261,888.00 and Cazenovia College was awarded $350,568.00, and all three grants are for September 2020 – August 2021. It is anticipated that the grant awards will be for a total of five years. The SSS program aids high education institutions in providing opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and motivates students to successfully complete their college education.

“A college education is a critical resource to ensuring our young men and women have the skills they need to compete in a 21st Century global economy. For many students, however, there are simply too many obstacles standing in the way of obtaining that diploma, and these federal funds will help clear those obstacles by enabling these institutions of higher learning to expand its programs focusing on financial literacy, career counseling, peer mentoring, tutoring and more. This federal grant will allow these colleges to grow these critical programs so they can improve completion rates and empower students to pursue fulfilling careers following graduation,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I will continue fighting to make sure a college education is an obtainable goal for every New Yorker who wants one.”

“We must do everything we can to ensure the success of New York State’s collegiate students, regardless of background or income level, and these federal funds will help us achieve that goal,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In order for New York State to maintain competitiveness in the 21st century global economy and keep our skilled workforce in the region, we must provide our students with the educational resources and support services they need to succeed. I will always fight for the resources our students, colleges, and universities need to thrive.”

“Our higher education institutions here in Upstate New York are some of the finest in the world, and grants like these are an investment in the future of our community,” said Brindisi. “Every student should have a shot at success, and these dollars will help build a stronger, more educated workforce. I will keep fighting to bring money back to our district.”

The schools will use the funds to help retain students, increase graduation rates, and assist first-generation college students. College leaders expressed gratitude and support for the grant funding.

“The U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services grant will fund our efforts to provide greater support for economically and academically disadvantaged students with a focus on improving retention and promoting persistence to graduation,” said Utica College President Laura Casamento. “This award speaks to the core of our mission as an institution as well as our vision for the College moving forward."