January 25, 2021
Last year, 2020, was a year unlike any other. At the beginning of the year, the world learned about a new virus spreading across the globe. By March, schools and college campuses closed and forced educators and students to pursue distance learning. By May, public schools and colleges across the U.S. cancelled graduation ceremonies and went virtual through the end of the school year.
As colleges struggled to adapt to the challenges of a pandemic, we saw alarming reports of low-income students delaying their college plans or dropping out of college in alarming numbers. The lower enrollment figures in the fall evidenced how the economic devastation unleashed by the coronavirus crisis weighed more heavily on the types of students that TRIO programs serve. The college affordability and the student debt crises were exacerbated by the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By December, Congress provided some aid for schools and students as well as relief for student borrowers in its response packages. Yet, low-income and first-generation students continue to need support and services to both prepare for and graduate from college.
Read how COE worked and continues to work in overdrive (.pdf) to response to the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to advance college access and success for TRIO programs and participants nationwide.