Legislators Push for TRIO Program Funding to Assist First-Generation, Low-Income, Veteran Students

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jon Tester (D-MT) led a bipartisan group of 56 Senators in pushing for continued funding for Federal TRIO Programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. TRIO programs help to ensure that underserved students have equal access to a college education and the support they need to prepare for, succeed in, and graduate from higher education. These programs provide crucial support to low-income students, first-generation students, students with disabilities, homeless youths, students in or exiting foster care, military veterans, English learners, unemployed adults, and students in rural communities.

“The COVID-19 crisis has challenged every stage of our nation’s education system, thus making the need for targeted investments in TRIO all the more urgent. In fall 2020, the college enrollment rate of students from high-poverty high schools plunged nearly one-third lower than the year before,” the Senators wrote. “Meanwhile, U.S. Census data reported that students in low-income families are twice as likely to drop out of community college during this crisis. As TRIO programs seek to address these challenges, we urge the Committee to continue to prioritize TRIO funding to help ensure students are prepared for, persist in, and graduate from college.”

The letter was also signed by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“TRIO is proof positive that our legislators can come together to assure educational opportunity will be in place for our nation’s low-income and first-generation youth and adult learners,” said Maureen Hoyler, President of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE).

“The TRIO program is proven to help students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for and succeed in higher education,” said Senator Baldwin. “I support this bipartisan effort to make a strong investment in the TRIO program so even more young people can get the support they need to pursue higher education and reach their full potential.”

Click HERE to read the full letter.


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