News Releases

Senators intervene after Education Dept. threatens to revoke funding for TRIO program based on inaccurate information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that funding has been restored for South Seattle College’s TRIO Educational Opportunity Center program. The college was notified in August that its TRIO funding would be revoked due to low participation, information that turned out to be inaccurate.

The South Seattle College TRIO program currently serves 1,032 low-income and first generation adults and has provided critical educational services to these populations for over 25 years. Senators Murray and Cantwell stepped in to help the program and its students, urging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a letter to reinstate the funding.

”We write to convey our strong support for the TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program at South Seattle College,” Sens. Murray and Cantwell wrote. “The TRIO program at South Seattle College provides critical education services to low-income and first generation adults in Washington state, with a focus on veterans, military families and immigrant populations.”

Sens. Murray and Cantwell have consistently championed expanded educational opportunities as the pathway to personal prosperity and gaining the skills needed for the 21st century economy.

South Seattle College serves a diverse student population participating in vocational, , and apprenticeship programs. Over half of SSC students area the first in their family to attend college and 40% of students come from homes in which the family language was not English.

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

A copy of the senators’ letter can be found here.