Mercy College Receives $2.6 Million Biden-Harris Administration Grant to Advance Equitable Digital Access

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From left to right: United States Congressmember Mondaire Jones (NY-17); Mercy College Chief Information Officer Camille Shelley; United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves

Funds will enhance technology access and affordability for Mercy College students and community

Mercy College announced today it will receive more than $2.6 million from the Biden-Harris Administration to provide students and community members with access to high-speed internet, technological devices, and technology education and support.

The news follows an announcement made last week by the United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), stating that Mercy College and four other grant recipients will be among the first to receive funding as part of the NTIA’s Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC). United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves shared the news of the grant in New York on Friday, July 22 at a Digital Equity roundtable, of which Mercy College Chief Information Technology Officer Camille Shelley was a participant. The CMC will provide more than $260 million to underserved colleges and universities, enabling them to purchase broadband service and equipment, hire IT personnel and create digital literacy programs.

The CMC program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative, aimed at providing affordable, reliable high-speed internet to every household in America. “The Internet for All initiative will create opportunities, increase productivity, and improve the lives of Americans, particularly in communities that have too often been left behind,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at last Friday’s event with Mercy College.

“We at Mercy are honored to be recognized for historically promoting a learning environment that ensures fair access to the technology required of every person in our society,” said Mercy College President Tim Hall. “I am extremely proud that Mercy was selected to be among the forerunners of the Biden Administration’s commitment to digital equity.”

The initiative provides nearly $3 billion in funding for the Digital Equity Act, which promotes digital inclusion and equity for communities that historically have been underserved. These include Hispanic-serving Institutions like Mercy, as well as historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions. “These campuses are vital community centers that fuel job creation, entrepreneurship and economic growth,” said Graves.

“Ensuring every student has access to technology is a critical goal for Mercy College, a goal that can be especially difficult in marginalized communities,” said Shelley. “Mercy is committed to sustaining our ongoing efforts to ensure the digital equity students require for success—not only their own, but also for the health and growth of the community in which those students live, learn and work.”

To view the United States Department of Commerce's press release announcing the grant, please click here