Mary Reiter, Director of Services for Academic Success, 406.657.1070,
RMC media team, 406.657.1105, 

RMC receives $1.45 million grant to increase retention and graduation rates

BILLINGS, July 21, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Education awarded Rocky Mountain College with a $1.45 million grant for its Services for Academic Success (SAS) program. Through this grant, RMC will receive $290,966 annually, beginning September 2015, throughout the next five years with the purpose of increasing college retention and graduation rates of its students.

According to the terms of the grant, these funds are awarded to “institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.” 

RMC’s SAS program focuses on providing academic and other support services to low-income families, first-generation college students, or students with disabilities. Currently, 59 percent of RMC students meet the low-income, first-generation, or disability requirements of the program, which serves 250 RMC students. 

“SAS provides skills, support, and encouragement to help students complete college,” explained RMC Director of SAS Mary Reiter. “Every spring when we celebrate the graduation of our SAS students, it is a proud moment in the students’ lives. Not only do our retention rates continue to improve, but more importantly these students are achieving a life goal, with many being the first in their family to graduate.”

This is the sixth multi-year federal grant for the program, bringing total federal funding and other grant funding for SAS to more than $7 million. 

Reiter explained that SAS services include academic tutoring; advice and assistance in course selection; academic, career, and personal counseling; graduate school counseling; financial literacy assistance; cultural and academic enrichment opportunities; study skills classes; accommodations and advocacy for students with physical and learning disabilities; and special supplemental grant aid. Reiter noted that four academic specialists also work in the program, which is a service that is free to all qualifying students.