Grays Harbor College awarded $2.8 million to help future college students

Grays Harbor College announced that they were awarded $2.8 million to help low-income, potential first-generation students at the school.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education to establish TRIO Upward Bound programs at Hoquiam, Ocosta, and Raymond, high schools beginning this September. 

“We are excited to have received these grants and to be working with our partners in Grays Harbor and Pacific County schools,” said JEB Thornton, director of grant development and administration at GHC. “We believe Upward Bound will provide new opportunities to local students that will help prepare them for the challenges of postsecondary education and will ultimately help them achieve their full potential.”

TRIO Upward Bound will provide students at the local schools with academic enrichment courses, personal mentoring and coaching, and assistance with college, financial aid, and scholarship applications.

The programs will support efforts to help local students earn high school diplomas and pursue postsecondary education.

Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that focuses on assisting high school students from low-income households, rural students, and/or students from households in which the parent or guardian does not hold a bachelor’s degree.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation.

The funds will be able to cover services such as tutoring and academic support, assistance with college and financial aid applications, academic advising, SAT and ACT preparation, college tours, and other student support services, as well as cultural enrichment opportunities like field trips, performances, and special events.

Raymond and Ocosta will share an Upward Bound program that will serve up to 30 students in 9th through 12th grade annually at each school, while Hoquiam will have its own Upward Bound program that will serve up to 60 high school students per year. 

Both projects have been funded at $287,537 per year for five years, totaling $2,875,370. 

GHC will be able to apply to renew the funding following the projects’ fifth year. 

“Upward Bound is a very competitive, national grant program and this is a great honor and accomplishment for our community,” said Cal Erwin-Svoboda, vice president of student services at GHC. “Upward Bound and other programs like it offer much-needed educational access and student success resources and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity to students in our area.”

Upward Bound is one of the Department of Education’s TRIO programs and is 100% federally funded.

In addition to Upward Bound, GHC participates in TRIO’s student support and STEM services, which recently established TRIO Educational Opportunity Center, currently located on GHC’s Aberdeen and Raymond campuses and serving adults who are under-represented, low-income, and/or first-generation college students.