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TRiO hit by budget cuts

By molly boes
On November 9, 2011

Due to federal budget cuts, TRiO, a set of three federal programs designed to help low-income, first generation students, as well as non-traditional students and students with disabilities, experienced a 3.1 percent decrease in budgeting.

In the budget cuts, the national TRiO program lost $26.6 million for the 2011-12 year, extending from Sept. 2011 to Aug. 2012. In order to adjust to the new budget, Reed said that Xavier's TRiO has been cutting some resources but will not cut students that they are currently supporting.

Reed also said that a petition was passed around Xavier's campus, collecting over 400 signatures, to be sent to United States Senator Rob Portman, a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, to save the TRiO programs in the country.

The Joint Select Committee has until Nov. 23 to devise a plan regarding federal budget cuts.

TRiO is a compilation of three separate federally funded programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services. These programs were started in the 1960s as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty.

The goal of these projects was to make it easier for students of low-income families, defined as families with an income of 150 percent or less of the federal poverty level and first generation students to receive assistance through high school and college. TRiO originally targeted inner-city students and then expanded its programs to include rural areas as well.

The TRiO programs currently serve over 840,000 students across the country, including adults returning to obtain a college education and veterans.

TRiO came to Xavier's campus on Sept. 1, 2001 and currently helps 160 students, about 40 students from each grade level. In order to be accepted into the program, students must apply and then go through a selection committee.

TRiO helps students through offering workshops, providing the students with support and meeting with each student on a monthly basis.

"We provide that support system for students to adjust to the college lifestyle," Amy Reed, director of Student Support Services, said. "We help train students to become productive members of society."

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