MINOT, N.D. (AP) _ Eight institutions of higher education in North Dakota have received a combined $2.5 million to provide a number of services to students from disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds.

The funds from the U.S. Department of Education are meant to be used to offer those students services including academic tutoring, course selection advisement and financial aid guidance.

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says the federal funding will help the students “have quality educational opportunities regardless of their background.”

Minot State University is getting the greatest share of the funding with nearly $440,000. North Dakota State University comes right behind MSU with almost $423,000.

The other schools receiving funding are University of North Dakota, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, University of Mary, Dickinson State University, Lake Region State College and Dakota College at Bottineau,