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Keystone College has received a $9.9 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture which will have a positive impact on the college and the students it serves.

The USDA $9.9 million investment is in the form of a structured fixed-rate loan with an interest rate of 3.8 percent amortized over 35 years, enabling Keystone to refinance its debt at a more favorable and stable rate. Keystone qualified for the USDA financing program because of its position as a major employer and economic contributor in a rural location in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“We are tremendously grateful to the USDA for its support of and confidence in Keystone College. We appreciate all that the USDA does to promote equal access and prosperity in rural Pennsylvania,” said Keystone College President Tracy L. Brundage, Ph.D.

“We extend our most sincere thanks to all our local, state, and federal representatives who assisted us in this endeavor, particularly U.S. House of Representatives members Lou Barletta and Tom Marino and members of the local community. Without their advocacy, this loan may never have come to fruition,” said Keystone Vice President of Finance and Administration Stuart Renda.

Dr. Brundage and Mr. Renda said that the USDA recognized Keystone as a major economic driver in Northeastern Pennsylvania, particularly in the Factoryville, La Plume, and Tunkhannock areas. During the last 10 years, Keystone’s total economic impact to the local and state economy has been more than $150 million. Keystone’s 200 full-time and 200 part time employees have an approximate annual “take home” pay of about $9 million, most of which is spent in the local community and  taxes paid by Keystone employees exceed $300,000 each year.

Also, 83 percent of Keystone students reside in Pennsylvania and 37 percent are from rural counties such as Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, and others. Keystone has been included on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service for five consecutive years, recognizing the 26,000 hours of service performed each year by Keystone students, faculty and staff.

Enrolling approximately 1,400 students, Keystone offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, natural science, environmental resource management, geology, and social sciences. Located 15 minutes from Scranton, Pa. and two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.