RICHMOND — A partnership between the Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Association of Counties and Eastern Kentucky University will strive to improve higher education access for nearly every employee of city and county government across the state.

The agreement means those employees are eligible to receive significantly discounted tuition, free books for undergraduates and a locked-in tuition rate for two years at Eastern Kentucky University. The partnership, including a three-year memorandum of understanding, is the largest corporate or nonprofit partnership in EKU’s history.

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of this partnership because it will give opportunities for KACo, KLC and city and county employees to better themselves and their communities through the power of education,” EKU President Dr. David McFaddin said. “With each new partnership we sign with the corporate and nonprofit sectors, we strengthen our position of being the school of opportunity. We are excited to welcome these hard-working and dedicated public servants to the Big E family.”

As part of the EKU Advantage program, this will provide thousands of employees of those organizations and member cities and counties with a 30% tuition discount and a flat tuition rate for two years. Eligible employees can begin enrolling as early as the fall 2021 semester “B” term to receive the discount.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with the League’s commitment to education and training,” KLC Executive Director J.D. Chaney said. “We appreciate Eastern Kentucky University working with us to provide the thousands of people who serve their local community every day an avenue to further their careers. City employees will be able to more affordably obtain everything from a certificate to a master’s degree at a top-notch university.”

Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of several other partnerships the university recently has announced with companies including Hyster-Yale and Central Bank.

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