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TRIO's Educational Talent Search receives over $2.2 million, 5-year grant renewal

Published Aug. 11, 2021

The University of Louisiana Monroe’s TRIO Programs has received a $2,291,275 grant renewal from the U.S. Dept. of Education to fund TRIO’s Educational Talent Search program for an additional five years.



The Educational Talent Search program began in 1981 and serves eligible middle and high school students attending Monroe City, Richland Parish, Madison Parish, and Ouachita Parish (Richwood). 


The goal is to guide students to high school graduation and on to enrollment and graduation from a university or post-secondary education institution.


“We are so very excited to have the opportunity to continue serving students in our public schools,” said “TRIO Executive Director Catherine Estis, Ph.D.


“These grants impact not only individual lives and families, but the state as a whole. We believe that more students will leave high school prepared to complete a bachelor’s degree and enter the state’s workforce with the skills they need to succeed,” she said.


Educational Talent Search has four objectives:

  • Identifying and assisting students with the potential to attend college.

  • Encouraging students to complete high school and enter into a college program of study.

  • Ensuring students enroll in a post-secondary institution of their choice.

  • Graduating from college.  


Services include providing connections to high-quality academic tutoring, assistance in high school course selection, completion of admissions and financial aid applications, guidance in high school or college reentry, financial literacy sessions, career, personal and academic advising, cultural and college visitation trips, mentoring, and summer activities. 


Of ULM’s Educational Talent Search students, 100 percent advance to the next grade. Likewise, 100 percent of high school seniors in the program graduated from high school, and 80 percent enrolled in post-secondary education.  


ULM Educational Talent Search Program continues to assist and encourage high school students on their university path by providing advising in secondary and post-secondary course selection, tutoring services, near-peer mentoring, career exploration, opportunities, financial and economic literacy, ACT and college admission test preparation, campus visits, and secondary school reentry referrals.