Federal funds to help KSC support high school and college students

August 17, 2020

Keene State College will receive nearly $627,000 in federal funding to assist students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities and those who are the first in their families to attend college.

The college is getting $364,948 for the Federal TRIO Programs, which provide services for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to a news release issued recently by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's office.

The college will receive an additional $261,888 for a new pilot program the school has launched, which is geared toward students pursuing a degree in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Keene State's TRIO Programs include Aspire, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science, according to college spokeswoman Kelly Ricaurte, and the programs receive federal funding every five years. The Upward Bound programs are aimed at preparing high school students for college. The programs can accommodate 154 students, who come from underrepresented populations in New Hampshire and Vermont, Ricaurte said.

Aspire is designed to help college students be successful in their studies though tutoring, peer mentorship, financial aid services and more. The program serves 160 students who are from low- and moderate-income households, have a documented disability or will be the first in their families to earn a bachelor's degree.

A new Aspire STEM grant will also allow the school to support another 120 students who are working toward degrees in those fields. 

Shaheen, D-N.H., said in the news release that it is important to assist students whose education was put at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also commended Keene State's STEM-focused pilot program, which, she said, "will help ensure [STEM students] are able to get the support they need to achieve their dreams in school and secure a good paying job after they graduate."

The award is part of a larger $1.3 million funding package that will also benefit the TRIO Programs at the University of New Hampshire, which will receive $379,979, and Plymouth State University, which will receive $357,608.

These funds were secured by Shaheen through her role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, according to her office. 

"Particularly this year, as our campuses prepare to open in the midst of the pandemic, the services provided by our TRIO offices will be critical to assisting our students with navigating these unprecedented times," said Todd Leach, chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, in the release from Shaheen's office.


By:  Mia Summerson
Source: Keene Sentinel