The federal government is providing Binghamton University with $261,000 to help increase student retention and graduation rates.

The funding was announced Monday by Rep. Anthony Brindisi. Utica College and Cazenovia College also are receiving similar grants.

The initial grants are for the 12-month period starting in September. The grant awards are expected to be provided for a total of five years.

The money is coming from the Student Support Services program operated by the U.S. Department of Education.

The program is designed to help colleges and universities provide opportunities for academic development and assist students with basic college requirements.

In a news release, Brindisi said the funding "will help build a stronger, more educated workforce."

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