Kent State Receives $1.2 Million Federal Grant to Assist Adults in College Enrollment

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Kent State University a nearly $1.2 million, five-year TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers program grant. The program is designed to provide support services to qualified adults, including veterans, who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. 

The Educational Opportunity Centers program specifically targets low-income adults and veterans by offering a wide range of services, including counseling and assistance with financial aid, testing and college admissions applications. 

Kent State, a national leader in award-winning student support services to graduate students, will use the $1,160,250 federal grant to establish an Educational Opportunity Center on the Kent Campus that will serve 850 eligible participants from the metropolitan areas of Akron, Ashtabula, Canton, Kent, New Philadelphia, Salem and Warren in Northeast Ohio.

“We want to empower those who never thought college was for them to instead see themselves earning a college degree,” said Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., Kent State’s senior vice president and provost. “We hope to transform the Northeast Ohio region into a climate that fosters educational access and completion for all individuals.”

Kent State’s geographic target area for this project has been impacted by high levels of poverty and lack of educational attainment. The ambitious objectives that Kent State is setting for this project are:

  • 35% of participants receive their secondary school diploma or equivalent.
  • 45% of participants submit financial aid applications.
  • 42% of participants apply for postsecondary education admissions.
  • 35% of participants enroll in postsecondary education.

Kent State’s project will address specialized services for veterans to improve college enrollment and success, assist participants with receiving credit for prior learning and provide summer support to ensure they continue learning. 

Kent State’s Educational Opportunity Center project, located in University Outreach and Engagement in the Division of Academic Affairs, aims to meet objectives through key partnerships with Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services, Academic Success Center, Student Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions, and Career Exploration and Development; district career centers (Aspire and GED/HiSET); Community Action Council; Job and Family Services; PNC Banks; TRIO programs; and other supporting agencies, nonprofits and businesses.

The federal TRIO Programs are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals who may be first in their family to attend college and fall below certain income thresholds. This is the second TRIO grant the university has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in the last 15 months. In August 2020, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Kent State a $2.6 million, five-year TRIO Student Support Services program grant to help students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds and students with diverse learning and physical abilities. For more information about the federal TRIO Programs, visit

Kent State has successfully hosted TRIO programs since 1971.

For more information about University Outreach and Engagement at Kent State, visit

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Media Contacts:
Sonya Williams,, 330-672-8540
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 08:37 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 04:26 PM
Emily Vincent