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Georgian Court University receives federal grant

Georgian Court University, Lakewood, is the recipient of a new federal grant, worth more than $1.9 million over a five-year period, that will help the university expand academic support services and keep students on track for timely graduation, according to a press release.

The award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III grant program is part of the federal agency’s Strengthening Institutions efforts.

The Title III grant comes about a year after GCU landed a five-year $1.4 million federal grant for TRIO-Student Support Services, which helps students who are first in their family to attend college and may have additional academic needs, according to the press release.

Now, Title III funding will support Georgian Court’s Chart the Course to Graduation, an effort to strengthen retention of first-year students and improve overall college completion rates, especially among those who arrive on campus underprepared for college.

The grant awards $425,894 to GCU in the first year. Additional funding should come in future federal budget periods through 2021, according to the press release.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the median time it took for 2008 bachelor’s degree recipients to earn their degree was 52 months. Forty-four percent of them completed a bachelor’s degree within 48 months of enrolling in college, and another 23 percent graduated within 49 to 60 months.

In December 2014, GCU launched Chart the Course to help students graduate on time.

“Our continued efforts to improve retention are showing progress,” said GCU Provost William J. Behre, one of the grant’s co-authors. He noted that GCU’s first- to second-year retention rate is nearly 85 percent, up from about 70 percent three years ago.

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