Senator Murray Announces Over $8 Million in Federal Grants for Washington State Colleges and Universities

Senator Murray: “If we want a higher education system that helps all students succeed, it’s critical that we invest in programs that ensure everyone—no matter their income or their circumstances—gets the support they need to enter and complete college.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, announced more than $8 million in Fiscal Year 2022 grants for colleges and universities across Washington state.

The funding comes as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound Program, one of the Department’s 8 TRIO programs, and provides critical support to low-income and first generation high school students as they prepare for and make the transition into postsecondary education. Upward Bound provides opportunities for high school students to succeed in precollege performance and higher education pursuits, with the goal of increasing the rate at which students complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of higher education.

“The past two years have been incredibly tough on students, and the reality is that these challenges have been particularly hard on students with low incomes and first generation students. If we want a higher education system that helps all students succeed, it’s critical that we invest in programs that ensure everyone—no matter their income or their circumstances—gets the support they need to enter and complete college,” said Senator Murray. “I fought hard to secure these resources in the latest funding bill. Because I know first-hand the difference it makes when students get the support they need to pursue a higher education, and I’ll continue fighting to put that opportunity within reach for every single student across our state.”

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist students with low incomes, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

The current college affordability crisis has led to a steep college enrollment decline, particularly for students with low-incomes and students of color. As of fall 2020, high-minority and high-poverty high schools saw a 9.4 percent and 11.4 percent decline in college enrollment, respectively. And over the last 40 years, we have seen the most growth in jobs requiring higher levels of job preparation, including education and training. Today, 70 percent of jobs are held by people with more than a high school degree.

A former community college instructor and longtime advocate for schools and students, Senator Murray has pushed to expand access to a college education for students in Washington state, and across the country. In March, Senator Murray was instrumental in helping secure major wins in the Fiscal Year 2022 spending package to make college more affordable and accessible. The bill included $1.1 billion, an increase of $40 million for TRIO, and $378 million, an increase of $10 million for GEAR UP—programs that help low-income and first generation students prepare for college and succeed once they’re there. The legislation also increased increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $400 (or 6.2%) to $6,895 for the 2022-23 school year—which is the largest increase since the 2009-10 school year.  

See below a full list of federal grant awardees:

No.Applicant NameBudget Amount
1South Seattle College$357,478.00
2Washington State University$297,601.00
3City of Seattle$518,827.00
4The Evergreen State College$297,601.00
5Big Bend Community College$559,208.00
6University of Washington$297,601.00
7Washington State University$312,480.00
8University of Washington$503,918.00
9South Seattle College$297,601.00
10Pierce College District$297,600.00
11Washington State University$297,601.00
12Grays Harbor College$287,537.00
13Washington State University$312,480.00
14LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc.$297,601.00
15Washington State University$297,601.00
16Columbia Basin College$425,668.00
17Peninsula College$294,636.00
18Washington State University$287,537.00
19Yakima Valley College (nee: Yakima Valley Community College)$548,192.00
20Centralia College$297,601.00
21The Evergreen State College$530,919.00
22Grays Harbor College$287,537.00
23Washington State University$297,601.00
24The Evergreen State College$297,601.00
25Whatcom Community College$297,600.00