WATERVILLE — Thomas College will receive a $1.1 million grant to help retain students in need, including those from low-income families or with disabilities, the college said Wednesday.

The TRIO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education will come over five years to serve up to 140 students annually, from new students to seniors, according to a press release from Thomas College.

Thomas said it’s the first private college in Maine to receive the funding, which aims to “support the success, retention, and graduation of first-generation students, students from low-income families, and/or students with identified disabilities,” according to the release.

College President Laurie Lachance said in a prepared statement the grant “is a significant recognition of Thomas’s record in promoting student success, and I am thrilled to have our award-winning retention efforts recognized in this way.”

“The TRiO funding helps students graduate on time and become career-ready or better positioned to pursue graduate study,” she said in the statement.

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