Economics Of College Grants Trickle Down To Underrepresented Students

Colleges and universities are reaching out to students who are considered "underserved." With help from grants, they're providing services to help disabled students, as well as those from certain ethnic backgrounds and low-income families. Also with help from grants, higher education institutes throughout the country are expanding their educational offerings. Here are a few examples of where some of the education-related grant money provided to colleges and universities is being spent:

In Kentucky a college received a $5,000 grant from the Louisville, KY-based Cralle Foundation, Inc. The grant money is to be used to support a Learning Resource Center that is being built at this university. The center is expected to be completed in 2011 and is to feature nursing program classes, a teacher education department, an equine laboratory and faculty offices. The Gheens Foundation, Inc., and the James Graham Brown Foundation, both of Louisville, have also provided the college with grants in support of the $5 million construction project.

A university in Oregon has been awarded a $1.85 million five-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue providing academic support services to low-income and disabled students and those who are among the first generation in their families to participate in higher education. The grant provides funding in its entirety for Student Support Services that are part of federal TRIO programs intended to help students who face challenges to obtain their degrees. At this college, the TRIO Student Support Services grant each year provides some 265 students the academic assistance they need to stay in college and graduate, according to a grant announcement from the institution. About 40 students who benefit from TRIO services graduate each year, the announcement noted.

The south hasn't been left out. In Southeast Florida, a college received a $2.87 million grant from the US Department of Education. The grant, provided over the course of five years and known as a Title V grant, is intended to help Hispanic students and other minorities academically in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. To accomplish this, the university is to focus on outreach efforts, mentoring and more as a means of increasing enrollment and graduation rates among these populations at its Oceanographic Center.

A $19.2 million US Department of Education grant was provided to a Chicago university. The grant money, to be provided by the agency's Institute of Education Sciences over a period of five years, is intended for reading-related research. As part of a project involving several institutions that this particular college would lead, researchers would look into ways to help middle school and high school students read so that they not only understand what they're reading, but so that they can also think critically and build arguments, a June grant announcement from this institution noted.

Grant money in the amount of a $1.2 million Kresge Foundation award, was provided to a college in Maryland. To be provided over a three year period, the money is designed to help pay for a project intended to keep underserved adult students in Maryland schools. The project would accomplish this by closing an achievement gap and helping to better ensure student success, even in instances where students serve in the military, work full-time jobs, have family responsibilities or are in more than one of these situations, the October announcement from this college suggested.

New Englanders benefit from a grant provided to a college in the form of a $100,000 Davis Educational Foundation Grant. The grant money, to be provided over the course of two years, is intended to help these students enhance the writing skills education provided to undergraduates, an announcement from the university suggested. The institution plans to hire an expert to guide faculty in teaching effective writing as part of their instruction, the announcement noted. Faculty members in six academic departments are to be involved, according to the announcement.