Students in field

TRIO Talent Search Program at Finlandia University awarded grant to help low income, potential first generation students access higher education

August 13, 2021

TRIO Talent Search will be provided five years of funding to help a minimum of 729 students from 15 schools in the Western Upper Peninsula find their path to college.

HANCOCK, MI. (AUGUST 12, 2021) – The U.S. Department of Education announced that Finlandia University will receive a federal TRIO Talent Search grant to help more low income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college. The TRIO Talent Search program has been hosted by Finlandia University for over 30 years and has helped over a thousand students achieve their dream of obtaining a college degree.

As one of the Federal TRIO Programs, Talent Search 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 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 advising and 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 percent of Talent Search participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY20, more than 309,000 students were enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO projects in the U.S. 

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.

Talent Search 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.

“My staff and I are thrilled that our program will be able to continue to collaborate with the schools, agencies, institutions, and organizations in the communities we serve to ensure our students have the skills and opportunity to succeed in school, college, and beyond,” David Kamrad said. 

“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.

This article was provided by TRIO Talent Search at Finlandia University.

David Kamrad, Director
TRIO Talent Search
Finlandia University
Phone: (906) 487-7235

Resources & Links

Finlandia TRIO Student Support Services
2021-22 Brochure
2021-22 Application for Participation

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