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Collins, Tester, Baldwin Lead Push for TRIO Program Funding to Assist First-Generation, Low-Income College Students

In Maine, more than 7,500 students are served by TRIO


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) led a bipartisan group of 56 Senators in pushing for continued funding for Federal TRIO Programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.  Senators Collins and Tester are the Co-Chairs of the Congressional TRIO Caucus. 


TRIO programs help to ensure that underserved students have equal access to a college education and the support they need to prepare for, succeed in, and graduate from higher education.  These programs provide crucial support to low-income students, first-generation students, students with disabilities, homeless youths, students in or exiting foster care, military veterans, English learners, unemployed adults, and students in rural communities.


“The COVID-19 crisis has challenged every stage of our nation’s education system, thus making the need for targeted investments in TRIO all the more urgent.  In fall 2020, the college enrollment rate of students from high-poverty high schools plunged nearly one-third lower than the year before,” the Senators wrote.  “Meanwhile, U.S. Census data reported that students in low-income families are twice as likely to drop out of community college during this crisis.  As TRIO programs seek to address these challenges, we urge the Committee to continue to prioritize TRIO funding to help ensure students are prepared for, persist in, and graduate from college.”


The letter was also signed by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Lujan (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH),Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).


Click HERE to read the full letter.




More than 7,500 Maine students are served by TRIO.


In April, Senator Collins met virtually with TRIO leadership from the University of Maine System and a Maine TRIO alumnus.  In February, Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Education Committee, highlighted the importance of the Federal TRIO Programs in Maine and throughout the country to Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona. 


In an effort to strengthen the federal TRIO programs and improve their outreach to underserved youth, Senator Collins recently led a group of bipartisan colleagues in introducing the Educational Opportunity and Success Act.  The legislation would reauthorize the TRIO programs, eliminate several onerous and unnecessary requirements, and institute commonsense reforms to make it easier for educational institutions to reach students who would benefit from these programs.



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