(Richmond, VA) -- The United States Department of Education has awarded Virginia Union University a $1.2 million grant for the establishment of a Talent Search program. The grant will be paid over a five-year period in order to provide Richmond Public School students with academic advising, tutoring, assistance with acquiring financial aid for college, and assistance with applying for college. Students participating in the Talent Search program engage in intensive mentoring and are expected to graduate and enroll in college. “We are excited to receive this significant funding which is consistent with Virginia Union’s commitment regarding access to higher education for talented students who are underserved,” said Virginia Union Acting President Dr. Joseph F. Johnson.
Virginia Union’s Talent Search grant is one of 459 new grant awards totaling $144 million awarded by the Department of Education in 2016. The five-year grants will assist more than 300,000 students across 49 states. “For the past five decades, the Talent Search program has propelled more than 11 million students toward postsecondary success,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell. “Because of the Talent Search program, thousands of students every year enhance their ability to successfully transition from high school to college.”
Talent Search is one of eight programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO programs are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from underserved backgrounds. Virginia Union University currently has two other TRIO programs, Upward Bound and Student Support Services. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. Participants attend academic classes and receive on-campus tutoring and counseling through a Summer Residential Institute and the Academic Year Saturday Academy. The Student Support Services program assists first-generation college students with their academic development throughout the school year.