NCTC awarded TRIO Talent Search grant to help low income, potential first-generation college students access higher education

| Oct 13, 2021

GAINESVILLE, TX. (SEPTEMBER, 2021) – The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that North Central Texas College was successful in securing funding for the TRIO Talent Search grant.  The new award is for $277,375 over a five-year period totaling $1.38 million to help low-income, first generation students at 5 Lewisville ISD schools to prepare for and enroll in college.  

Talent Search (TS) identifies and assists middle and high school students who have the potential to succeed in higher education. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Talent Search program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree. Talent Search provides these students with counseling as well as information about college admissions requirements, scholarships, and various student financial aid programs so that they can better understand their educational opportunities and options. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of Talent Search participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY20, more than 309,000 students are enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO projects in the U.S.

Lewisville ISD is honored to be named as a recipient of the TRIO Talent Search grant, spearheaded by North Central Texas College and funded by the US Department of Education," said Lewisville ISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers. "This grant will increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. This five year grant will provide a dedicated staff member to work with students who apply and are accepted in to the talent search program in grades 6-12 in the Lewisville High School feeder pattern.”  

Many Talent Search alumni have gone on to great success, among them former U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla from Texas and former Oklahoma State Senator and State Representative Kenneth Corn, one of the state’s youngest in history.

TS began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. It was the second of eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

“I am proud of the work that our TRIO grant staff has done for our students over the years,” said NCTC Chancellor Dr. Brent Wallace, “and the addition of the Talent Search program will only further the assistance that we are able to provide to those students from disadvantaged backgrounds.” 

“As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Talent Search take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.