US Senator Mitch McConnell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today announced four institutions of higher education in Kentucky will receive more than $5.7 million in federal emergency relief funds from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds were made available through the Supplemental Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education (SAIHE) program, funded by the bipartisan COVID-19 rescue legislation Senator McConnell negotiated and led to enactment in December of 2020.

Senator McConnell made this program possible by creating the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which in turn provides funding for the SAIHE program. Kentucky Colleges and Universities have already received more than $430 million from both of these bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages. These additional funds will support institutions of higher education and their students as they recover from the disruption caused by the coronavirus.

The funding announced today will provide:

• Nearly $2.3 million for Somerset Community College
• Nearly $1.3 million for Big Sandy Community and Technical College
• More than $1 million for Hopkinsville Community College
• More than $1 million for Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky’s colleges and universities were forced to take drastic steps to maintain educational continuity and keep their students safe. I was proud to work with my congressional colleagues to provide these schools with additional resources and keep our education system running smoothly,” said Senator McConnell. “Kentucky’s institutions of higher education – and especially our community and technical colleges – provide an indispensable launch pad for our state’s future growth and development. The funding announced today will allow these schools to return to normalcy as soon as possible and continue to train Kentucky’s next generation of talent.”

“All of us at Somerset Community College are very grateful for Senator McConnell and his staff’s help to be awarded this grant of $2,289,873 million from the US Department of Education, Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (USDE/FIPSE). These efforts have resulted in what is most important to all of us, help for our students as they continue to complete their educational journey during the pandemic. These funds will enable students in Southeast and Central Kentucky who could not continue with college the opportunity to get back on track and become part of a brighter future,” said Dr. Carey W. Castle, President/CEO of Somerset Community College.

"Big Sandy Community & Technical College (BSCTC) is pleased to be selected to receive $1,290,545 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – FIPSE Competitive (SAIHE). This grant will go a long way to help our students be successful as we respond to the impact of the coronavirus on our campuses. BSCTC appreciates Senator McConnell’s continued support of higher education and students in Eastern Kentucky," said Dr. Sherry Zylka, President and CEO of Big Sandy Community and Technical College.   

“We greatly appreciate Senator McConnell’s continued support. These funds will help us meet our mission of serving our students and our greater community. At Hopkinsville Community College we believe access to higher education can change the trajectory of lives and can create stronger more prosperous communities,” said Alissa Young, President of Hopkinsville Community College.

“I would like to thank Senator McConnell for his continued support of Southeast KY Community and Technical College and our mission, which is building better lives in Southeast Kentucky. This generous gift from the relief fund is yet another example of the Senator’s longstanding commitment to higher education in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Vic Adams, President/CEO of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

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