WASHINGTON ― Federal employees seeking bachelor and master’s degrees will receive tuition discounts on four new schools, the Office of Personnel Management announced.

Catholic University of America Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, Pace University iPace Program, Park University, and Utica College are the schools newly integrated into the Federal Academic Alliance, bringing the total number to 15.

“We will continue to work with colleges and universities to provide the federal workforce with opportunities to obtain the education they need to meet today’s federal workplace challenges” acting OPM Director Kathy McGettigan stated.

The aforementioned alliance grants 5 to 70 percent tuition reductions and/or scholarships to federal employees and sometimes their spouses and legal dependents. The FAA focuses on getting the involvement of institutions specializing in mission-critical occupational skills including information technology, cybersecurity, human resources, financial auditing and economics.

With this program, OPM hopes to provide increased outlets for employees to accentuate their skillsets in the aforementioned areas and thus increasingly close federal skills gaps. OPM believes these critical skills shortages are increasing the strain brought upon by hiring freezes and likely reductions in most agency budgets.