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Senator Collins Announces Nearly $900,000 to Help Maine Students Access Higher Education

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Co-Chair of the Congressional TRIO Caucus, announced that the University of Maine (UMaine) and the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) will receive a total of $893,703 for their Education Talent Search Programs through the U.S. Department of Education.  The goal of the program is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education.


“TRIO programs like those offered at UMaine and UMPI are vital for students across our state, where we have a large number of first-generation college students,” said Senator Collins. “The COVID-19 crisis has challenged every stage of our nation’s education system, thus making the need for targeted investments in Talent Search and other TRIO programs all the more urgent.  This funding will help hundreds of students from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain a college education and unlock their full potential.”


“Talent Search programs reach students and families across the entire state of Maine, inspiring and empowering students in middle and high school to realize and achieve their potential,” said Mary Sinclair, President of the Maine Educational Opportunity Association.  “The services provided through Talent Search are as important as ever, because they reach out to students who are discouraged and overwhelmed and help to offer a path toward their goals and dreams. The Maine Educational Opportunity Association congratulates UMaine and UMPI on the renewal of their Talent Search grants and thanks Senator Collins for her continued, dedicated support of the TRIO programs.”


The funding will be allocated as follows:


·       University of Maine will receive $616,328.


·       University of Maine at Presque Isle will receive $277,375.


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 youth, students in or exiting foster care, military veterans, English learners, unemployed adults, and students in rural communities.


The Education Talent Search Program offers services such as tutoring, college visits, assistance with college, scholarship and financial aid applications, college entrance test preparation, and numerous other services meant to address specific barriers to college.  Parents and partner schools team up with TRIO College Access Services to ensure that each student has the best opportunity possible to achieve his or her college dreams.




Last month, Senator Collins led a bipartisan group of 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.


In an effort to strengthen the Federal TRIO Programs and improve their outreach to underserved youth, Senator Collins also 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.


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.



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