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U.S. Senators Shaheen, Collins Lead Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators to Urge Department of Education's Timely Execution of 2025 TRIO Student Support Services Grant Competition

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators in sending a letter urging the Department of Education to ensure the timely execution of the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant competition. The Federal TRIO SSS Program is the only national program providing college retention and completion resources for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities. In New Hampshire, longtime SSS programs operate at the University of New Hampshire, Keene State College and Plymouth State University.

“The Department has an historic track record of failing to award grants to TRIO funding recipients in sufficient time to prevent disruptions to student services. […] Delays in the delivery of competition results create uncertainty for grant applicants, particularly those already operating programs on campuses across the country. Lack of certainty around the timing of grant awards prevents colleges from recruiting student participants and securing adequate resources on campus,” the Senators wrote.

“With 1,159 programs serving more than 208,000 students, SSS is the largest Federal TRIO Program. […] Therefore, we urge the Department to take the necessary steps to ensure the timely release of the FY 2025 SSS competition results so that successful grant applicants can launch their programs by September 1, 2025,” they continued.

TRIO grants are awarded to institutions every five years through a competitive process. However, the Department of Education’s delays in awarding these grants have created significant uncertainty for grantees who have had to face the end date of their five-year funding cycle without a guarantee that their program would have continued funding.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Senator Shaheen has long urged the Department of Education to address its administrative delays that threaten grant programs that support Granite State students. In 2017, Shaheen sent a letter to the Department of Education urging the release of grant funding to successful applicants for TRIO Upward Bound funding, protecting programs at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Keene State College that faced imminent expiration of funds due to Departmental delays. In 2022, Senator Shaheen pressed Secretary Cardona at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the Department’s failure to administer the next TRIO Upward Bound grant competition on time.