About COE

Overview

We believe every young person and adult has an equal opportunity to prepare for, attend, and graduate from college. Graduation from any category of postsecondary institution is achievable and not limited by economic status, family background, or disability.

The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies to help low-income students enter college and graduate. Over a million low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies.

Trio Programs

Every young person and adult has an equal opportunity to prepare for, attend, and graduate from college.

Congress mandates that two-thirds of the students served in TRIO must come from families with incomes at 150% or less of the federal poverty level and in which neither parent graduated from college. More than 3,100 TRIO projects currently serve over 800,000 students.

Trio Programs

in their words

As a TRIO alumna, I know personally how a college education opens doors and expands life’s possibilities. The critical work done by COE increases access to college, but also promotes the American ideal of improved prospects for a better life.
CONGRESSWOMAN GWENDOLYNNE MOORE
U.S. House Representatives, D-WI-04

in their words

It’s really the American Dream unfolding in front of your eyes. It’s exactly the thing that we’re all brought up to believe: you work hard, you play by the rules, you’re going to be given a chance and you can go as far as your talents can take you. If that’s not the essence of TRIO, I don’t know what is.
CONGRESSMAN TOM COLE
U.S. House Representatives, R-OK-04

in their words

COE has an important role to play in changing perspectives in Congress and generating a sense of community, as well as being an unapologetic advocate on behalf of low-income first-generation students.
Jennifer Engle
Acting Director of U.S. Program Data Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

faces of trio

COE Success Stories

Anthony Webster

McNair Scholars, Jackson State University

Click to view the page: Anthony Webster

Cristóbal Garcia

Student Support Services, University of Northern Colorado

Click to view the page: Cristóbal Garcia

John Paul Abenojar

McNair Scholars, San Diego State University

Click to view the page: John Paul Abenojar

Jonathan Solomon

Talent Search, Case Western Reserve University

Click to view the page: Jonathan Solomon

Kevin Wright

Student Support Services, Northern Arizona University

Click to view the page: Kevin Wright

Melonie Sexton

McNair Scholars, University of Central Florida

Click to view the page: Melonie Sexton

Support Us

If you are a student support services professional, thank you. You are an unsung hero for all the good that you do, and surely you know by now that COE has your back.

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Partner

Through strategic collaborations, we work to strengthen quality, opportunity and access to education for all American students — the next generation of global leaders.

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Join Us

Join more than 1,000 colleges and community agencies committed to postsecondary opportunity for low-income, first-generation students, students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico!

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