Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $7 Million to Help First-Generation, Low-Income Students, and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $7 Million to Help First-Generation, Low-Income Students, and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College

TRIO programs provide first-generation college students with tutoring, mentoring, financial aid advice, and more

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $7 million in TRIO grants are headed to 19 higher education institutions across Oregon to support first-generation, low-income students, and students with disabilities through the Student Support Services Program. Students who receive the grant will have access to tutoring, assistance in course selection, financial aid advice, guidance on scholarship opportunities, and more.

“I was the first in my family to graduate from college—an experience that opened doors and helped shape me into the person I am,” said Merkley. “A shot at a great education should be within reach for every Oregonian who wants one, and I’m going to keep fighting for resources—like these grants—that help make that possible for students across our state.”

“All young Oregonians interested in considering college as an option should have equal opportunities to pursue their choice,” Wyden said. “For many families who are first-generation or low-income, higher education has proven to be a key step on the ladder to success, and I will keep battling to knock down systemic obstacles between these students and their educational dreams.”

Merkley has long been a champion of increased funding for federal TRIO programs, and recently led a bipartisan group of 40 senators in pressing congressional leadership to include in the upcoming coronavirus relief package significant funding for them. The programs are integral to supporting vulnerable students who already face greater obstacles to their learning experience and are often encountering a more substantial impact from the coronavirus.

The U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO programs include a variety of outreach and student services programs that mitigate existing disparities in access and completion of postsecondary education. Specifically, the programs provide academic tutoring and counseling; financial literacy programs; assistance with postsecondary planning, college admissions applications, and career counseling; peer and adult mentoring; work-study opportunities, and connections to wrap-around services.

The awards, which total $7,238,513, will be distributed as follows:

School

Grant Award

Blue Mountain Community College

$            275,698

Chemeketa Community College

$            325,099

Chemeketa Community College

$            280,828

Clatsop Community College

$            348,048

Klamath Community College

$            261,888

Lane Community College

$            261,888

Lane Community College

$            306,036

Mt Hood Community College

$            294,722

Oregon Institute of Technology

$            294,380

Oregon State University

$            286,146

Oregon State University

$            261,888

Oregon State University

$            261,888

Portland Community College

$            261,909

Portland State University

$            426,814

Portland State University

$            261,888

Rogue Community College District

$            294,725

Rogue Community College District

$            261,888

Southern Oregon University

$            325,598

Southwestern Oregon Community College

$            346,835

Umpqua Community College

$            320,797

University of Oregon

$            624,299

Western Oregon University

$            261,888

Western Oregon University

$            393,363

Total Funding

$7,238,513.00