Education Department Awards $144 Million in TRIO Talent Search Grants to Improve College Readiness

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Education Department Awards $144 Million in TRIO Talent Search Grants to Improve College Readiness

August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education announced the award of $144 million for 459 new grant awards under the Talent Search program.  Commemorating 51 years since its inception, in 2016, these five-year grants will assist more than 300,000 youth across 49 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau in gaining the skills needed to successfully graduate high school and prepare for college. Of the 459 applicants who competed successfully in the FY 2016 competition, 418 applicants will begin new awards in the 2016-2017 project year and future awards will be made to 41 applicants with one or more years remaining on their current Talent Search grants.  This year’s grant competition marked the first year of encouraging evidence-based strategies for both secondary completion and postsecondary enrollment.

“For the past five decades, the Talent Search program has propelled more than 11 million students towards postsecondary success,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell. “Because of the Talent Search program thousands of students, every year, enhance their ability to successfully transition from high school to college.”

Talent Search, one of eight programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs, provides disadvantaged youth with connections to high-quality tutoring services and counseling services for students and families to improve financial aid literacy and financial planning for postsecondary education.

Talent Search and other TRIO programs are critical to the nation’s goal of leading the world in postsecondary credential attainment and college completion. The Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to widen access to higher education by boosting Pell Grant funding, streamlining the FAFSA, and maintaining low interest rates on federal subsidized Stafford loans. One important element to increase college-going is ensuring students and families have good, user-friendly, information about their postsecondary options. The College Scorecard is a tool, developed during this Administration, to help Talent Search students and others compare institutions across key areas including: cost of attendance, degree type, average student debt, and projected post-graduation earnings.

Talent Search is uniquely designed for students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including students with disabilities, students who are limited English proficient, homeless children and youth, students who are in or exiting foster care, first-generation college students, and other at-risk youth.

A list of the 459 grantees, alphabetical by state, with number of participants and funding amount is available here.

For more insight into the types of program supports provided, please view this video of a current Talent Search grantee selected to continue providing services.