Smith announces funding for low-income students

U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon recently announced that 16 Oregon colleges and universities receive over $3 million in funds for programs that benefit disadvantaged students. The federal TRIO programs being funded are designed to motivate and assist low-income, first-generation college and disabled students to ensure they have the skills they need to enter and complete college.

TRIO programs are designed to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America’s economic and social life, according to the TRIO Web site ( The programs are designed to help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education as well as financial shortcomings.

The TRIO program began with Upward Bound, which came out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In 1965, Educational Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs.

Since then the TRIO programs have expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students who need assistance. The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 added Educational Opportunity Centers to the TRIO programs, and further amendments in 1976, 1986 and 1990 added the present-day Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, training programs and the Upward Bound Math/Science program.

All state colleges, universities and community colleges in Oregon will receive funding for TRIO programs, and Portland State will receive $261,301. The money will go towards PSU’s two TRIO programs – Upward Bound and the Educational Talent Search.

PSU’s Upward Bound program serves Portland-area low-income students in middle and high school. Students receive academic guidance, tutoring, summer programs, career assistance and much more to help them develop an interest in, apply for and stay in college. The Educational Talent Search program assists middle and high school students in applying for financial aid and scholarship programs.

“These funds are important for the thousands of students who have the drive and determination to start and complete college but need a little extra help along the way,” Smith stated in a press release. “The TRIO programs will make sure that disadvantaged and disabled kids in Oregon receive the tutorial services, financial aid and mentoring they need to guarantee their academic success. This program and others like it will rebound to our state in innumerable ways as those students graduate and become productive citizens.”

For information on other schools’ funding, go to Smith’s Web site at To get involved with PSU’s TRIO programs, contact Upward Bound at (503) 725-4010, the Educational Talent Search at (503) 725-4458, or check out their Web site at