Student Opportunities

COE sponsors a range of student opportunities, from a national book club and the annual National Student Leadership Congress for pre-college TRIO students to Washington, D.C. internships and short-term Keith Sherin Global Leaders study abroad for TRIO college students.

Free Webinar

Navigating the National Student Leadership Congress Application Process

We hosted an unmissable webinar for the dedicated staff of TRIO Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science, and Talent Search programs! Dive into an insightful session where we unravel the intricacies of NSLC, share insider tips on the application process, and guide you through potential funding resources.

Watch the webinar here

Free Webinar

Keith Sherin Global Leaders: Study Abroad Information Session

Calling all TRIO Student Support Services and McNair staff: Join us for a session that goes beyond the ordinary. Discover the ins and outs of the application process, explore potential funding options, and gain success strategies to empower your students as they navigate the enriching study abroad experience. Don’t miss out on this chance to elevate your students’ global perspectives and leadership potential! Apply now for a summer like no other.

Watch the webinar here

Learn More

COE offers opportunities for low-income, first-generation students to gain experience working on Capitol Hill, studying abroad, and more.


COE invites applications for the 35th NSLC at American University in Washington, D.C., June 8-13, 2024

The Council for Opportunity in Education is thrilled to announce the 35th annual National Student Leadership Congress (NSLC) in the summer of 2024. This transformative leadership experience will bring together 170 high school students who are part of the TRIO programs, including TRIO Upward Bound, TRIO Upward Bound Math-Science, and TRIO Talent Search, from all across the United States and its territories. They will be part of a 6-day leadership program held in Washington, D.C. During the Leadership Congress, students will stay, study, and eat on the campus of American University. The event will feature exciting activities, such as a Mock Congress, opportunities for exploring college and career options, visits to famous landmarks and museums in Washington, D.C., and meetings with their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. Students must apply before Tuesday, January 16, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. ET. The registration fee is $1,700 per student upon acceptance, and this fee covers lodging, meals, educational materials, and cultural experiences.



COE invites applications for the 2024 Keith Sherin Global Leaders: Study Abroad Program

The Council for Opportunity in Education proudly presents the 2024 Keith Sherin Global Leaders: Study Abroad program in collaboration with its international partners, ECHO and The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Twenty TRIO Student Support Services participants and TRIO McNair Scholars, guided by two dedicated COE Group Leaders, will embark on a life-changing adventure from June 23 to July 15, 2024.

The first week will be a deep dive into the host country, the Netherlands. Students will uncover the rich tapestry of Dutch culture and education, all while gaining valuable insights into higher education and cultural diversity, both in theory and practice. Under the esteemed guidance of ECHO, the Center for Diversity Policy, students will explore the vibrant city of Amsterdam and engage with student leaders who represent migrant communities.

The following two weeks will see students at The Hague Summer School, a cutting-edge educational platform rooted in the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Here, students will dive into courses that focus on addressing global challenges by forging connections between the public and private sectors. Each student will enroll in both a core course and an elective, immersing themselves in a world of ideas, innovation, and collaboration. Students will engage in coursework, conduct field research, and learn through the power of shared experiences.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this life-altering experience. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET. The cost for student registration is $2500. Start your journey to becoming a global leader today. Learn more about the program here.



FIRST GEN by Alejandra Campoverdi

The featured book for 2024 is FIRST GEN by Alejandra Campoverdi (2023). FIRST GEN by Alejandra Campoverdi is a compelling memoir that explores the challenges and triumphs of being first-generation, offering an intimate and powerful account of navigating generational expectations, achieving success, and finding one’s true identity.




COE will invite applications for these additional opportunities soon.

COE has seasonal student opportunities for TRIO high school and undergraduate students and recent TRIO graduates. Get notified when COE seeks future cohorts for the opportunities below.


Each summer, COE hosts more than 150 TRIO high school student delegates from Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science and Talent Search programs across the United States and territories to participate in a rigorous 6-day leadership experience in Washington, D.C. During the Leadership Congress, the delegates sleep, study, and dine on the campus of American University.  In addition to meeting their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill, delegates participate in community service projects, conflict resolution workshops, and spend much of the program engaged in a Mock Congress. This requires students to research critical policy issues, draft legislation, and debate their peers with their assigned team.

A paid internship opportunity lasting four to six months is awarded each year to a graduating senior or recent college graduate who has participated in a federal TRIO program. The program includes an internship in a Congressional office preceded by several weeks in COE’s Washington, DC office. The internship is named for the late Thomas R. Wolanin, former staff director of the Subcommittee on Post- Secondary Education in the U.S. House of Representatives, a champion of access and affordability in postsecondary education, and a committed advocate for first-generation students.

The Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program was founded with the notion that all college students should have access to international experiences. The program supports the study of TRIO college students with demonstrated leadership skills in a three-to-four-week program. Since 2000, more than 350 low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities have participated in COE-sponsored short-term and semester study abroad programs in Great Britain, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain.

Through the Keith Sherin Global Leaders Washington Semester Program, one high-achieving TRIO college student is selected each semester and supported with tuition, housing, and a small living stipend. The Washington, D.C. public policy program includes a semester of study at Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center and an internship placement in a Congressional office.

COE’s TRIO Career Development Program (TCDP) provides TRIO SSS and McNair students with access to competitive paid internships and jobs. TCDP builds professional skills, supports development through mentoring, provides connections to careers with top employers, and helps maximize their work experience. Students receive personalized mentoring and tools to develop and execute their career plans. After building valuable relationships, these students will be prepared to compete for highly sought-after positions with various public and private sector partners.

Stay Connected

Learn more about how the Council for Opportunity in Education works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies to help low-income students enter college and graduate.