Florida State University has received a $1.3 million federal grant to help increase local Title I schools’ college enrollment rates.
FSU’s plan is to create a pre-college program funded by the federal TRIO Programs’ five-year Talent Search grant, allowing high school students to experience college life in order to boost enrollment.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the federal TRIO programs are federal outreach and student services 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.
In an interview with WTXL, Inika Pierre Williams, director of pre-collegiate programs at FSU, said she is eager to help influence future generations to enroll in college.
“We find a lot of our students in our communities, they want to go starting at ninth grade, and we see those rates decline as years go on,” Williams said. “And so we bring them on campus once a month to experience programming, but most excitingly they get to spend two weeks on campus as a college student.”
In order for students to be eligible for the program, they should be a citizen of the U.S., a first-generation college student, and/or a product of low-income household in need of help academically.
Once a part of the program, students will have access to in-school assistance, after-school tutoring, college mentoring, ACT and SAT preparation, and college tours.
Students who are selected will also be invited to FSU’s Tallahassee and Panama City campuses to participate in camps and programs throughout the year.
FSU’s interest in promoting education is impressive to the university’s current students, but there is a hint of skepticism.
FSU graduate student Holden Placide is proud that FSU is taking action to better prepare younger students for the future.
“I’m happy that they are able to have this grant and they are using it for low-income students,” Placide said. “However, I am skeptical of them using this grant just to satisfy the diversity initiative.”
With this program, FSU can help to change the narrative for hundreds of students who reside in low-income communities.