Smart, technology-enabled campuses elevate the academic experience—transforming learning, engagement and collaboration in powerful new ways. From artificial intelligence-enabled converged management and assurance, to high-speed Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity, to esports and to security, colleges and universities need critical network infrastructure.
Many campuses know they need to modernize their networks, but don’t have the funds to move forward. The good news is that billions of dollars in federal aid can offset these costs. And with expert help, campuses can navigate the complicated application process—and move forward confidently. With our partner, Grants Office, the Ruckus Networks team will help you tap federal funds while they’re still available. Our free, no-obligation Funding Support Program will help your campus gain access to critical funds for your technology projects.
I talked with Erica Perkins, Ruckus Networks’ Public Funding Program manager, and Elizabeth Evans, Grants Office senior grants development consultant, about funding sources that colleges and universities can apply for to help them upgrade their network infrastructure.
Q: We’ve been talking about stimulus funding for the past two years, and we know there are billions of dollars out there. How can this money help campuses?
Erica Perkins: IT departments are struggling to find the budget to support the new expectations of campus connectivity. The stimulus relief funds really sparked the conversation and shined a light on infrastructure funding needs.
Q: What sort of money is available to help?
Erica: The federal government has allocated billions of dollars in stimulus funds for technology projects. There are four main programs that can help with everything from updating campus facility networks to improving library services and creating entire new degree programs to increase enrollment.
Q: How does Ruckus Networks help colleges and universities find and use that funding?
Erica: First, we educate them about the funds that are available, and then we help them navigate the application and proposal process at no cost to them. We simply want to help them take advantage of what’s out there while there’s still time.
Q: What’s an example of how the funds have been used?
Erica: We’ve seen so many unique uses. Campus infrastructure upgrades range from security enhancements to cabling installation. One powerful example is an engagement with one of the nation’s oldest Historically Black Universities. They were struggling with enrollment to stay accredited, and it was due to the outdated campus infrastructure. Our representatives were able to get them in touch with our grants team and find the funding and technology needed for campus connectivity. As a result, they increased enrollment. Another university wanted to differentiate itself and decided to branch out and build an esports program and stadium. We secured funding assistance to upgrade the infrastructure and build interest in esports activities.
Q: How has Ruckus Networks worked with Grants Office to find funding for colleges and universities?
Erica: We’ve helped more than 300 organizations find and secure technology funding with support from Grants Office. They’re our partner that offers a full suite of support services from start to finish during the grant writing and review process.
Q: Elizabeth, how does Grants Office assist colleges and universities in their search for outside funding?
Elizabeth Evans: Our subject matter experts live and breathe grant writing. We offer review services because we want institutions to feel confident when they submit their proposals, knowing they’ve put their best foot forward.
Q: How can colleges and universities make sure they don’t miss grants that might be right for them?
Elizabeth: Even if a college or university has a grants department, it takes a lot of time to keep up with what’s going on. Part of our job is keeping a pulse on public and private funding outlets and matching them to the right project.
For students to thrive in today’s technology-driven environment, colleges and universities must provide a truly immersive experience with a smart campus. If they don’t, digital natives will go elsewhere for their education. Now is the time to take advantage of available public funds to offset technology infrastructure costs. What are you waiting for?
Missed us at EDUCAUSE?
Applying for public funding can be a daunting process that requires expert resources. That’s why we’re offering specialized insights and assistance through the Funding Support Program. If we missed you at EDUCAUSE, we can still connect you with the help your campus needs.
If you want to learn more about how to fund your upcoming technology project, complete this form to receive a free customized funding report.