Bipartisan Funding Deal Includes $40 Million Increase for Federal TRIO Programs

March 9, 2022

Congress has announced a bipartisan funding deal with a $40 million (3.7%) increase for TRIO for Fiscal Year 2022 (Program Year 2022-23).

The FY22 TRIO increase will fund additional grants in the pending competitions for Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science, Veterans Upward Bound, and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement. The agreement also directs the Department of Education to provide increases to current Student Support Services, Talent Search, and Educational Opportunity Centers, while also giving the Department the option (but not a requirement) to fund additional high-scoring unfunded applicants in the FY20 and FY21 competitions.

While the 3.8% increase for TRIO is a step in the right direction, it is, nonetheless, a disappointment. However, it is reflective of overall spending on education.

In spring 2021, President Biden proposed, and the House of Representatives subsequently passed, legislation providing a 41% increase for the entire U.S. Department of Education, which included a historic $200.8 million increase for TRIO. Today's final bipartisan funding agreement included only a 3.8% increase for the entire Department of Education. Besides the $40 million (or 3.7%) increase to TRIO, the FY22 spending bill also includes:

  • A 2.7% increase for GEAR UP ($10 million increase for $378 million in funding).
  • A 1.7% increase each for Federal Work-Study ($20 million increase for $1.21 billion total) and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($15 million increase for $895 billion total).
  • A 6.2% increase to the maximum Pell grant award, increasing by $400 to $6,895. This was the largest Pell increase in more than a decade. Unfortunately, this Pell increase was paid for by cutting $550 million from the Pell Grant Trust Fund and moving $57 million from mandatory (automatic) Pell funding. The agreement included flat funding (a 0% increase) for Pell Grants in regular FY22 annual discretionary funding; and
  • A 12.2% funding increase overall ($96 million) in aid for institutional development for Minority Serving Institutions.

The regular FY22 spending package also includes significant new funding for Ukraine military and humanitarian assistance plus additional COVID-19 emergency relief.

There is still time to register for COE's Policy Seminar, March 20-23 in Washington D.C. (or online), to ensure TRIO continues to have a seat at the table. Through the Power of Persistence, we will continue to fight for our students and continue our progress to strengthen TRIO in FY23 and beyond. This year's speakers will include U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, TRIO Caucus Co-Chair Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with panels of experts to help prepare TRIO educators to advocate in Congress. Learn more and register here.

Like you, we are deeply disappointed, but thank you for your continued advocacy on behalf of TRIO students and programs.