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Trio Programs on Capitol Hill advocating for federal funding

Photo caption: Maceo Rainey and students from the Indiana TRIO program

Indiana TRIO is an active participant chapter of the TRIO community that consists of statewide chapters across the country. This organization is committed to providing individual support for 880,000+ low-income, underrepresented students, students with disabilities, and first-generation college students to enter and complete college.

The support is available to students from sixth grade to college undergraduates as well as adult learners and veterans. Henceforth, with the current funding in place by the federal government, TRIO Programs can only serve a fraction of eligible students.

Recently, the Indiana TRIO delegation accompanied Indiana Trio President Maceo Rainey on a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The delegates included Letise Jenkins, Talent Search Director at Purdue University Northwest/Hammond Campus; Ronnell DuBose, Upward Bound Director at Purdue University Northwest; Jennifer Kotter, Upward Bound Assistant Director at Vincennes University; and Miaya Scott-Horizons, Program Coordinator at Purdue University.

The goal of the Delegation was to meet with the two Indiana Senators – Mike Braun and Todd Young, as well as conduct meetings with office staffers from all nine Indiana Congressional Districts. They also sought increased TRIO funding that would enable Indiana TRIO College access and opportunity professionals to serve more students enrolled in federal TRIO Programs throughout Hoosier state.

The TRIO community across the country and collectively asks on Capitol Hill towards elected officials and policy makers consisted of:

  1. Support for a $107 Million Dollar increase to TRIO Programs in FY 2024.
  2. Protection against all across-the-board cuts that impact education programs.

Furthermore, this increased funding would serve as the insurance policy for Federal Pell Grants and other forms of Federal Student Aid. Since Federal Student Aid alone isn’t enough to help enter college and graduate, TRIO Programs assist underrepresented, low-income, and first-generation college students with additional services. The services include but are not limited to academic tutoring, counseling, career advisement, financial literacy, and a plethora of services to support degree completion.

Henceforth, with TRIO Programs and Federal Student Aid working in collaboration, taxpayers in Indiana can get a full return on their investment in Indiana students. Equally as important, inflation has had a profound impact on TRIO Programs across the country. Everything from the costs of books, computers, and supplies, to paying for gas to provide college tours for students, and costs for services has risen significantly over the past year.

Therefore, increased federal funding of TRIO Programs is greatly needed this year to allow Indiana TRIO college access and opportunity professionals and TRIO Programs nationwide, to keep pace with inflation and to continue to serve an increased number of students with high-quality college and career services. Thus, working to create a more educated and skilled workforce in the State of Indiana and beyond.

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