WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded two grants to local universities through the federal TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSSP) for student counseling in the 2015-2016 school year. Specifically, California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI) was awarded $220,000 and California Lutheran University (Cal Lutheran) was awarded $248,925.

“In Ventura County, TRIO programs help ensure that low-income and first-generation college students can pursue higher education, and these grants also play a critical role in academic support and counseling,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I have met many students who grew up believing a college education was out of reach before they became involved with TRIO, which helped them achieve their goal of attending college. I am thrilled that Cal State Channel Islands and Cal Lutheran have the funding they need to continue to help young people achieve their dreams.”

“This grant will enable Cal State Channel Islands to enrich the experience of low income, first generation, and students with disabilities and prepare them for a successful future,” said CSUCI President Dr. Richard R. Rush.

“Cal Lutheran’s diverse student body has a great need for these programs and we are proud to have established a 25-year tradition of supporting our low-income and first-generation students as well as those with disabilities thanks to the TRIO grants,” said Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball. “These programs work, and they show these student populations that they, too, can succeed and graduate with a degree from a private university.”

TRIO SSSP is a federal outreach and student services program that is designed to promote and provide resources to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Under TRIO, assistance is targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

According to the Department of Education, 160 CSUCI students will be served for the 2015-2020 funding cycle, with 70.5 percent of students at the university meeting the eligibility criteria for SSSP. Additionally, 200 Cal Lutheran students will be served by SSSP for the 2015-2020 grant cycle, with 72 percent of all Cal Lutheran students meeting the eligibility criteria.

In Congress, Congresswoman Brownley has been a strong advocate for TRIO SSSP programs and other federal education programs.

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Congresswoman Julia Brownley represents most of Ventura County and serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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