LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Bay Path University is receiving a multi-million dollar grant, after being named one of just 24 colleges nationwide to win a $75 million competition set up by the U.S. Department of Education. The Longmeadow university will receive $3.5 million over the next four years for their win in the “First in the World” competition. Bay Path is one of only two institutions in Massachusetts to achieve this distinction.
The First in the World competition was designed to help colleges make higher education more affordable for students and families. It looks for colleges with innovative approaches to expanding educational access, and particularly focuses on expanding opportunities for low income students, or those from traditionally underrepresented communities.
Bay Path will use the money for The American Women’s College, which is an all-online program. The money will be specifically put to use for the development of their Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) platform. Dr. Carol A. Leary, President of Bay Path University, says that they are honored to receive the funding.
“Bay Path’s innovative approach to learning is poised to reach the 76 million women in America who currently do not have a bachelor’s degree. With this grant, we will be able to help adult women achieve accelerated success in online education,” Leary said in a news release sent to 22News.
The other Massachusetts college to win the competition was Northeastern University in Boston. Nearly 500 institutions nationwide applied for the grant money.
Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following statement after Bay Path University received a $3.5 million First in the World grant from the U.S. Department of Education:
“I want to congratulate Dr. Carol Leary and her team at Bay Path University on this terrific announcement. The FITW grant process was extremely competitive, with roughly 500 applicants, and it is clear that the Bay Path proposal was one of the best in the country. The $3.5 million in federal assistance will help support the institution’s innovative and unique online learning program. Bay Path has always sought to expand access to higher education for women across the globe, and this grant will allow them to continue that tradition using 21st Century technology.”