Funding is on the way to a Vermont university to help boost the number mental health providers to treat its students.

Northern Vermont University, which will merge with two other colleges into Vermont State University in July, will receive $97,617 from the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

The funding will used to pay the tuition of college students who study to become mental health professional in Vermont’s K-12 schools.

Dr. Lacy Skinner, an assistant professor for Castleton University’s School Psychology Program, said the funding is for five years, and will go to address an important issue.

“Being able to help out our students more, it was just something that we had been working towards for a while,” said Skinner.

Dr. Maureen Stewart, the Program Director for Northern Vermont University’s Master’s and School Counseling Program, said she and Skinner began working on the grant proposal last October,

“When we received the notification that we received it, we were beyond thrilled,” said Stewart.

The funding anticipated creating 16 school-based mental health positions in Vermont through the grant. More than of 15 universities in the Northeast received similar grants, including the University of New Hampshire, which will be getting $763,000 dollars.