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Montgomery College Awarded $1.37 Million to Help Prospective Low-Income, First-Generation College Students Access Higher Education

TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) will Provide Five Years of Funding to Help 5,000 Adults Find Their Path to College 

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Montgomery College will receive a federal TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) grant of $1,368,965 over a five-year period. The College will receive $273,793 per year for five years. Working closely with many community partners, TRIO EOC will annually serve at least 1,000 first-generation, low-income, non-bachelor’s degree holders as well as veterans and their families in Montgomery County. Since 2002, Montgomery College has served 15,015 unduplicated participants through four previous TRIO EOC grant cycles. In fall 2020, Montgomery College received a TRIO Student Support Services grant to help first-generation students, students with low income, and students with disabilities persist and complete degrees.

As one of the federal TRIO Programs, EOC seeks to increase the number of adult (age 19 and above) participants who enroll in postsecondary education institutions. To this end, EOC will help guide eligible individuals through the college enrollment process including admission and financial aid applications, preparing for placement exams, and registering for courses. The project staff will also provide academic and career counseling. In addition to assisting with the college enrollment process, TRIO EOC will offer GED counseling and provide the Official Practice GED Test at no cost to participants. Other services include workshops and individual counseling to increase financial and economic literacy and basic economic decision-making.

The TRIO programs, the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America, began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes at 150% or less of the federal poverty level and in which neither parent have earned bachelor’s degree. Educational Opportunity Centers located throughout the country primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families. These Centers help individuals to choose a college and obtain financial aid. There are 142 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 199,000 individuals.

“We are very grateful for the continuation of this federal grant that allows Montgomery College’s TRIO EOC program to help adult students earn college degrees,” said Dr. Charlene Dukes, interim president of Montgomery College. “The TRIO EOC program removes barriers to higher education access and success so that college students— first-generation, low-income, and veterans—can attain their educational and career goals.”

For additional information, please contact Montgomery College TRIO EOC Program Director, Ms. Beverly Coleman, at 240-567-5644 or by email at