College of the Desert Awarded $1.3 Million to Help Low-Income, First-Generation, and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College

PALM DESERT — College of the Desert will receive a federal Talent Search grant of $1,386,870 to help more low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in and graduate from college, the U.S. Department of Education announced. This is the second time the College has been awarded this five-year grant, which has served more than 2,400 students, to date.

One of the Federal TRIO Programs, Talent Search, identifies and assists middle and high school students who have potential to succeed in higher education. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Talent Search program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families where parents do not hold a bachelor’s degree. Talent Search provides these students with counseling as well as information about college admissions requirements, scholarships, and various student financial aid programs so that they can better understand their educational opportunities and options. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of Talent Search participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In the 2020 academic year, more than 309,000 students are enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO projects in the U.S.

Many Talent Search alumni have gone on to great success, among them former U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla from Texas and former Oklahoma State Senator and State Representative Kenneth Corn, one of the state’s youngest in history.

“We are grateful to have the TRIO Educational Talent Search grant renewed as it will allow us to expand access to education and provide critical support services to our community,” said Jeff Baker, Vice President of Student Services.

Talent Search began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. It was the second of eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

For more information about College of the Desert’s TRIO programs, click here or email

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