Tarleton Grant to Help Underrepresented Students Access Higher Education


Thursday, August 26, 2021

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University will receive a federal Talent Search grant of $1.3 million over five years to help underrepresented students prepare for and enroll in college, the U.S. Department of Education announced.

Tarleton’s Educational Talent Search has served more than 900 students in the surrounding counties since its inception in September 2016. Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Service — collectively, TRIO — were created in the Higher Education Act of 1965.

“TRIO programs such as Educational Talent Search have never been more important as our educational systems recover from the pandemic,” said Jenny Watts, Executive Director of TRIO Programs at Tarleton. “Removing barriers for underrepresented students is essential to ensuring that they have equal access to higher education.”

Talent Search identifies middle and high school students who have the potential to succeed in higher education. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Talent Search program are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

Educational Talent Search provides academic support as well as information about college admission requirements, scholarships and financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education says 80 percent of Talent Search participants enroll in a postsecondary institution immediately following high school graduation. In 2020 more than 309,000 students were enrolled in 473 Talent Search projects across the U.S.

Talent Search began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. It was the second of eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help students succeed in higher education.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.