March 23, 2018
On Friday, March 23, President Trump signed the $1.3 trillion FY18 omnibus appropriations bill into law. This legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 256-157 and passed the Senate by a vote of 65-32 guarantees a $60 million funding increase for Federal TRIO Programs for a total appropriation of $1.01 billion — the high watermark in the history TRIO! As no grant competitions are scheduled for the 2018-2019 program year, this increase will translate into approximately a 6% increase for each individual grant award. The legislation also includes report language that directs the Secretary of Education to review applications rejected for minor technical issues in all 2017 grant competitions.
In addition to this important increase for TRIO, the legislation includes many other significant increases for low-income students, including a $10 million increase for GEAR UP for a total funding level of $350 million (and a legislative directive instructing the Secretary to host grant competitions for state and partnership grants in FY 2018); a $175 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award (for a total maximum of $6,095); a $140 million increase for Federal Work-Study for a total funding level of $1.13 billion; and an additional $107 million for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program receives, for a total of $840 million.
This legislation represents an enormous victory for low-income, first-generation students in TRIO and beyond. It would not have been possible without the unwavering commitment of advocates like you. All TRIO advocates are urged to please take a moment to call and thank their legislators who voted in favor of the FY18 omnibus bill.