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Murray State program receives funding to support low-income, first-generation, disabled students


Murray State University’s Student Support Services (SSS) has been granted federal funding for the next five years through the United States Department of Education.

SSS will receive $315,227 for the next budget period beginning Sept. 1 and running through Aug. 31, 2021. The grant is expected to renew annually for a total of five years.

For more than 40 years of operation, the University’s SSS program has provided academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students to increase retention and graduation rates, while also striving to foster an institutional climate supportive of each student’s success.

Program services include instruction in basic study skills, tutorial services, academic, financial and/or personal counseling as well as assistance in securing admission and financial aid for enrollment in graduate and professional programs. Additional offerings include guidance on career options, mentoring and special services for students with limited English proficiency, as well as aid to Pell Grant-eligible individuals.

In the past five years, 80 percent of students in the SSS program have been retained year-to-year. A yearly average of 90 percent of SSS participants maintain a 2.0 GPA or better, and 55 percent of SSS students graduate within four years.

“Students who qualify for our services but don’t take advantage of them are less likely to graduate from Murray State compared to the students we serve,” said SSS director MeLissa Cooper. “We have proven that our program works to help at-risk students succeed in great numbers. We look forward to continuing the outstanding services we provide our students and helping future generations of Racers for the next five years and beyond.”

For more information on Student Support Services and the grant, visit murraystate.edu/sss or contact Cooper at mcooper@murraystate.edu or by phone at (270) 809-4327.

From Murray State University

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