March 16, 2017
President Donald Trump's first budget request to Congress cuts nearly 15% of funding for existing programs within the U.S. Department of Education, including a $92 million (or 10%) decrease in funding for the TRIO college preparation and access programs that help low-income, first-generation students. If enacted, his proposed cuts would deny critical support services to nearly 83,000 * disadvantaged and aspiring students whose educational level ranges from sixth graders to candidates for post-graduate study.
For decades, TRIO has helped low-income students and students with disabilities become first in their families to earn life-changing college degrees. TRIO's academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, assistance with postsecondary admissions applications and testing, and financial guidance, have produced more than five million American college graduates who have made significant contributions to our country. These students have gone on to become taxpaying astronauts, physicians, researchers, authors, actors, and leaders in business and government, to name just a few of the paths they’ve pursued with TRIO guidance.
Next week COE will welcome at least 600 TRIO supporters to its 37th Annual Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., where they will share the potential impact of these proposed, profoundly short-sighted cuts with congressional members on Capitol Hill.
TRIO programs have been attacked in the past. Yet, through our collective action they have survived these attacks, and even grown stronger. We are confident in our community's ability and commitment to defend our students once again.
* This figure is updated from an earlier estimation projecting a 92,000 student loss.