ED Proposes to Cut TRIO by $20 Million; COE Proposes $80 Million Increase

February 9, 2016

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, President Obama released his final budget request to Congress. In the proposal, the Administration not only requests overall level funding for TRIO, but also reduces the funding allocation for virtually all of the individual TRIO programs in order to reserve $20 million to fund a "TRIO Demonstration Initiative." In contrast, the Council will seek an $80 million funding increase for FY 2017 (Program Year 2017-2018) to restore student losses as well as the purchasing power of current grant dollars. Specifically, these funds would support:

  • Restoration of students lost in Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound. Currently, Upward Bound serves 3,205 fewer students than it did at its high watermark of 64,566 students in FY 2010. Meanwhile, Veterans Upward Bound serves 265 fewer students than during its high watermark of 6,831 students in FY 2012.
  • Restore the loss of 50 McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement projects. During the FY 2012 grant competition, the Department of Education cut $10 million from the McNair program, thus resulting in the loss of 50 projects and services to 1,300 college students who aspired to pursue postgraduate education.
  • Restore current Student Support Services grants to their pre-2011 funding levels. During the FY 2015 grant competition, existing grantees were limited to their FY 2012 funding level. As such, grantees must subsist on the same funding level as they did five years ago.
  • Support Talent Search grantees in providing tutoring and mentoring services. As a result of the competitive preference priorities included in the most recent grant competition, Talent Search projects must provide tutoring and mentoring services (as opposed to previous grant cycles during which grantees only had to provide students with connections to tutoring and mentoring services).
  • Restoration of overall losses in students served and program purchasing power for Educational Opportunity Centers, Upward Bound Math-Science and all other TRIO programs. Today, TRIO serves 90,000 fewer students than it did in FY 2005 (877,777 students vs. 787,449 students). During this time, the cost-of-living has increased more than 16%.