Congress to Address Late, Mismanaged Notifications in Bipartisan Bill

September 19, 2017

In recent years, TRIO grant applicants and awardees have had to contend with late notifications, incomplete slates, and a host of other challenges. The most recent evidence of departmental mismanagement of competitions was the FY 2017 Upward Bound grant competition, during which more than 70 applicants were rejected for minor formatting errors. The subsequent outcry, which was highlighted by news outlets ranging from the Associated Press to the Chronicle of Higher Education, ultimately led to the consideration and, in many cases, funding of the rejected applicants. To help prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) introduced H.R. 3784, the Common Sense Opportunities Act, which would prohibit TRIO grant applications from being rejected for technical errors (e.g., font, spacing, rounding errors, etc.) and establishes a timely resubmission process. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Gwen Moore (D-WI). If your Member of Congress would like more information about the legislation, including information about how they can serve as a co-sponsor, please contact Kimberly Jones ( or Selene Ceja (