U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined Congressmen Jim Himes (CT-4) and Chris Murphy (CT-5) today in announcing $1,126,550 in federal grants to provide key support to Connecticut students from disadvantaged backgrounds preparing to enter college or pursue higher education opportunities.
Four grants were awarded to Fairfield University, Western Connecticut State University, Sacred Heart University, and Stamford Public Schools in the amounts of $341,408, $252,000, $283,142, and $250,000, respectively. All four grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Education's Upward Bound program.
"Ensuring equal access for all students, regardless of race or socio-economic status, must be one of our top priorities as a nation. Not only is this a civil right for all students, but the strength of our country and economy depends on educating tomorrow's leaders today. These grants will help ensure equal access for many disadvantaged students in Connecticut, and help them realize their American dream," said Senator Lieberman.
"This funding will help students from all backgrounds -- some the first in their families to go to college -- to realize their dream of pursuing higher education," Blumenthal said. "I applaud each institution for ensuring that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students in our education system have the tools they need to unlock their potential, enrich themselves and the state of Connecticut."
"These grants are a win-win: they give students the opportunity to go further than they might be able to on their own, and they make an investment in the future success of our nation" Himes said. "Helping kids prepare for college and beyond is one of the most important things we can do to drive economic growth and ensure the next generation can compete on the international stage."
"Low-income, first-generation students are nearly four times more likely to leave higher education after the first year than their peers, but students enrolled in TRIO and Upward Bound programs are more likely than their peers to finish school," said Murphy. "This funding will help more first-generation students go to college and graduate in Connecticut, and will help give our next generation of leaders the tools they need to succeed."
The Upward Bound program provides critical support services to low-income students, first-generation college students, or students at risk for academic failure as they pursue education beyond high school. Assistance provided through Upward Bound includes academic tutoring, advice in selecting secondary or postsecondary courses, preparation for college entrance exams, and help completing admission and financial aid applications. Additionally, projects funded by these grants are required to provide instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature, and foreign language.
Upward Bound is one of eight federal TRIO programs at the U.S. Department of Education -- all of which are designed serve individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.