Luther College selected to receive $1.7 million federal TRIO grant

August 27, 2020

Luther College has been awarded a 5-year federal grant for its TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO supports students through comprehensive programming that promotes their personal growth, academic success and sense of community.

"Our TRIO Achievement Program is such an important pillar of Luther's commitment to student success and it has been for decades," said President Jenifer K. Ward. "As we serve an increasingly diverse student body with more first-in-family students attending college, we are pleased to receive this funding to continue offering this vital support to students throughout their four years on campus."

Luther is among several colleges and universities selected to receive grants through the U.S. Department of Education. Tammy Hove, director of the TRIO Achievement Program, along with Jeanie Lovell, Luther's senior director of corporate and foundation relations/campaign co-director, prepared the successful grant proposal.

            "We are very thankful that interested, eligible Luther students can continue to count on the TRIO program," said Hove. "We believe in the value and potential of every student, and we demonstrate this by providing appropriate guidance, resources and opportunities that help position them to thrive in college and beyond."

The college will receive more than $330,000 during the first year of the grant, which begins Sept. 1, with the total 5-year amount projected at approximately $1.7 million. Every 5 years TRIO programs across the country compete nationally for continued funding. Program evaluation and funding are based on persistence and graduation rates of participating students.

            "The persistence rate among Luther students participating in TRIO has exceeded 90% every year over the last decade. The program currently serves more than 180 students, including 50 students entering Luther this fall," said Hove.

             The Luther College TRIO Achievement Program is committed to advancing a community where students successfully navigate through, excel in, and graduate from college prepared for life. TRIO guides and encourages participants throughout their journey, empowering them to become ever-learning and ever-growing and helping them to optimize their college experience while mitigating obstacles and celebrating successes along the way. Eligibility is based on family income and/or first-generation status.

New TRIO students are paired with a staff advisor and invited to enroll in a first-semester course, Foundations for Learning and Development, that sets the stage for the Luther experience and helps them get off to a strong start. Participants also benefit from peer tutoring and mentoring, textbook and technology lending programs, financial wellness coaching, TRIO grants and scholarships, as well as additional activities that are free to participants.

Luther College has sponsored a TRIO program since 1973. TRIO arose from the American Civil Rights Movement and refers to the 3 programs the federal government established in the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure equal educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance. TRIO has since expanded to include additional programs. For more information visit  

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