San José, Calif.- Oct. 24, 2011- The National Hispanic University (NHU) has received a competitive $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the school’s Esperanza Educational Talent Search program, which provides college preparation support services to students from six local high schools. The program was awarded to NHU through TRIO, a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from low-income, first-generation backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree.
Only about 46% of applicants across the country obtained funding in this approval cycle, according to data compiled by the Council for Opportunity in Education. Candelario Franco, Director of Pre-College TRIO Programs at NHU, said the renewal funding, spread out over five years, was a validation of NHU’s success in providing students and their families with services that ensure access to higher education. NHU’s Esperanza Educational Talent Search program has been developed to serve 729 students.
“Our program’s success is directly tied to our staff’s commitment to each of our students and our familia approach,” said Franco. “Advisors spend time with students talking about college, filling out applications and helping students and their families navigate and complete the financial aid process.”
NHU’s Esperanza Educational Talent Search program prepares students and their parents for the college experience through career planning, college tours, development of students’ study skills and counseling on financial aid options and other budgeting strategies. Six high schools in the San José area will benefit from the funding: Abraham Lincoln High School and San José High School in the San José Unified School District and William C. Overfelt High School, Mount Pleasant High School, James Lick High School and Latino College Preparatory Academy in the East Side Union High School District.
Marcela Miranda, associate principal of educational development at William C. Overfelt High School, said she was pleased the program will continue to help students in need of college preparation support. “This grant will be of great service to our students at Overfelt as we work together to increase the college enrollment rate particularly for those who come from low-income backgrounds and who may not have readily-available college preparation resources or support,” she said.
NHU administers two other TRIO programs: Upward Bound, also a pre-college program at NHU, which provides high school students with academic instruction on campus in mathematics, sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages, in addition to enrichment activities and a college residential program in the summer; and Student Support Services, formerly known at NHU as the Student Success Program - and recently renamed to Trio Scholars Program - which provides college students with free tutoring services for academic and cultural development, and other support to assist them in graduating from college.