Gov. Phil Murphy spent the early part of his July 12 briefing talking about the nearly $30 million in additional federal support for New Jersey’s higher education sector to help colleges and universities weather the impact of COVID-19.

“The bulk of this funding — about $28.5 million — is heading out to nearly three dozen colleges and universities in support of the office’s Opportunity Meets Innovation Challenge, which is a competitive grant program,” Murphy said. “Through this program, institutions will use their grant rewards to implement best administrative practices to college-wide reforms with an eye to ensuring their own long-term resiliency against future challenges.”

More than $1 million in funding will go to 11 schools to support efforts to address food insecurity and hunger among their students, Murphy added.

“Given that barriers to student success are often multifaceted, interconnected and require sustainable solutions, funding will help institutions develop systemwide reforms that pave the way for long-term progress in achieving our goals,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, New Jersey’s higher education secretary. “Through this funding, coupled with our historic public investments made in higher education through our fiscal year ’22 budget, we remain committed to ensuring students have equitable, affordable access to quality, postsecondary education now and in the future.”

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