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PSC gets more TRiO funding than usual

Paul Smith’s College has received $280,000 in funding for first-generation and low-income students, as well as students with learning disabilities, through a larger-than-usual grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program to the college’s TRiO — Student Support Services program.

TRiO is a federally funded program aimed at helping students stay in college to the finish.

Paul Smith’s College Chief Marketing Officer Shannon Oborne said the college gets TRiO funding every year but that this year the sum was more than usual.

“I have stayed in close contact with our North Country colleges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are in critical need of funding to support students, faculty and staff as they safely return to campus this fall,” U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik said in a press release announcing the funding. “These TRiO awards will help our higher education institutions as they work to ensure low-income and first-generation college students remain on track to graduate amidst the many challenges created by the pandemic.”

In 2018 TRiO supported 165 students at Paul Smith’s College.

Over the 15 years TRiO has been at the college, around 40% to 50% of its students have qualified as low-income. However, due to limited funds, TRiO only supports around 2% to 3% of the eligible American population.

Stefanik said more than $2 million in total was distributed to North Country colleges through this grant, including SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University, Adirondack Community College, Jefferson Community College and Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

“Significantly more funding is needed, and I will continue to advocate for direct federal funding for our North Country colleges and students in order to help them recover from the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stefanik said.

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