WKU awarded 3 grants totaling $5 million for TRIO Talent Search
- WKU TRIO
- Thursday, August 26th, 2021
WKU Talent Search students attended a STEM Camp on campus. WKU Talent Search has served students in the southcentral Kentucky region since 1981.
The U.S. Department of Education announced that Western Kentucky University will receive three federal Talent Search grants totaling $5,051,000 to help more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college.
WKU Talent Search has served students in the southcentral Kentucky region since 1981. TRIO Talent Search will provide five years of funding to help 1,821 students in surrounding counties each year find their path to college.
One of the federal TRIO Programs, Talent Search identifies and assists middle and high school students who have the potential to succeed in higher education. WKU TRIO’s three Educational Talent Search projects serve students in the following school districts: Allen County, Barren County, Bowling Green, Butler County, Caverna, Cumberland County, Edmonson County, Glasgow, Hart County, Logan County, Metcalfe County, Monroe County, Russellville, Simpson County and Warren County.
At least two-thirds of the students in each local Talent Search program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.
Talent Search provides these students with counseling as well as information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs so that they can better understand their educational opportunities and options. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of Talent Search participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY20, more than 309,000 students are enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO projects in the U.S.
Dr. Martha Sales, Executive Director of TRIO Programs at WKU, stated: “With a proven track record of success, TRIO programs are indeed the model to follow when it comes to higher education access and student success. TRIO works and WKU TRIO programs rock!”
Many Talent Search alumni have gone on to great success, among them former U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla from Texas and former Oklahoma State Senator and State Representative Kenneth Corn, one of the state’s youngest in history.
Talent Search began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. It was the second of eight federal TRIO programs 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.
“As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Talent Search 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 (COE) 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.
- For more about WKU TRIO Programs, visit https://www.wku.edu/trio/.
- For more about WKU TRIO's Educational Talent Search projects, visit https://www.wku.edu/ets/index.php.
Contact: Martha Sales, (270) 745-3757 or firstname.lastname@example.org