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Tell Washington: Don't Cut Funding for Our Nation's Most Vulnerable Students

This petition had 15,439 supporters

Currently, more than 800,000 students – from sixth-graders to doctoral candidates, from military veterans to displaced workers – rely on TRIO Programs for support in their pursuit of a college degree. These students receive academic tutoring, college and career counseling, financial aid assistance and other supports through 2,600 federally funded TRIO programs, including Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science, Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Veterans Upward Bound programs. Despite the fact that TRIO has become a staple in our local communities and has a long history of producing remarkable results at our institutions, Congress cut TRIO by $26.6 million. This cut will strip services away from approximately 25,000 students across the nation this year alone. Nearly 65,000 students will have lost services since 2006. If we want to solve the debt crisis, cutting programs that help our nation’s most vulnerable citizens is not the answer.

TRIO Programs’ History of Success Underscores the Nation’s Investments in Pell Grants through Student Success and Degree Completion

TRIO is not simply education spending; rather, it’s an investment in our nation’s future. We have seen a significant return on this investment over the years. Studies illustrate that the TRIO programs produce substantive positive effects on student success. More specifically, when compared to non-TRIO students, TRIO participants are more likely to enroll in postsecondary education programs, apply for financial assistance, complete college degrees, accrue more college credits and earn higher grade point averages. TRIO students are given assistance in obtaining Pell Grants, utilizing Pell Grants to enroll in college and earn college degrees. Across the board, TRIO programs work.

We Urge Congress and the Obama Administration to Halt Additional Cuts to TRIO Programs

As Americans, we must protect and defend all people, regardless of race, gender, economic circumstance, or disability. We are signing this petition to say “NO” to sacrificing the future of more hard-working students, adults, veterans and students with disabilities in the name of deficit reduction. Tens of thousands of students have already lost critical services provided by TRIO in budget negotiations in FY2011. We are signing this petition to say “NO” to more cuts to TRIO in FY2012. Students should not have to suffer the burden and consequence of any more debates over spending for America’s future. We urge the leaders of the House, Senate, and White House to take a strong stance against cutting TRIO programs for low-income Americans.

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