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Texas State Awarded $3.6 Million to Help Low-Income Students

Texas State University has received two federal Upward Bound grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $3.6 million to help more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees.

Upward Bound, one of the TRIO programs funded under the Higher Education Act, is a college access and retention program that prepares students for post-secondary education by providing various support services. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree.

Texas State TRIO programs are excited and humble to receive an opportunity to continue serving students in Central Texas at San Marcos, Lehman, Del Valle and Seguin high schools,” said Ray Cordero, Senior Director for Texas State’s TRIO programs.

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer. Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY21, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects in the United States.

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of eight federal TRIO programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

“This is another example of how Texas State continues to show our unwavering support for our Upward Bound students through the assistance of this grant from the Department of Education. Because of this renewal, we will continue to be able to help students from Central Texas continue their path to a college education. I applaud Ray Cordero and his TRIO team for their work in submitting another successful grant renewal application,” said Dr. Gigi Secuban, Vice President for Institutional Inclusive Excellence.

“As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

As of 2021, more than 3,000 TRIO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRIO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.


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