On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, announced in a statement she had secured over $8 million in grants for Washington state colleges and universities.
Among the institutions that will be receiving funds is Centralia College, which will be receiving $297,601.
The University of Washington, Washington State University and The Evergreen State College will also receive funding, along with dozens of other institutions.
The grants are part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound Program, which provides support to low-income and first generation high school students as they transition into college-level education. Upward Bound is part of the federal TRIO programs, described in Murray’s statement as “federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
“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,” Murray said. “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 … 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 senator’s statement highlighted the decline in college enrollment, especially among low income students and students of color, in spite of most job growth being concentrated in occupations requiring increased levels of education and training.
In her statement, Murray emphasized her own experience as an educator and previous efforts to increase college affordability, including playing what Murray called an “instrumental” role in achieving higher funding for college financial assistance programs.