- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) - Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, has been selected as one of only 24 universities across the nation for the U. S. Department of Education’s new First in the World grant.

To drive innovations in higher education that increase college completion, value and affordability, the Education Department in Tuesday awarded $75 million to the 24 colleges and universities.

Delta State will receive $1.6 million. Delta State President William N. LaForge says the money will be used for student retention and to provide extra assistance to students who need academic support.

Officials say 500 schools applied for the funding. Applicants submitted proposals with plans in areas such as improving graduation rates, making it smoother to transfer between schools and increasing enrollment in science and technology programs.

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