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The TRIO/Educational Talent Search Program, located on the campus of Purdue University Northwest, is a federally funded program by the United States Department of Education, intended to provide students from various counties within the Northwest Indiana region with access to high quality precollege experiences and beyond. The origins and foundations of TRIO Programs, as an item within the federal budget, can be traced to the domestic policy of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.

President Johnson, affectionately known as “LBJ” introduced to Congress the Equal Opportunities Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965 in what would arguably be his landmark legislation designed to close the achievement gap through the Johnson administration’s “War on Poverty.” Out of these landmark educational policies, (three) TRIO Programs were created ranging from Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services.

The TRIO/Educational Talent Search Program is continuing the legacy and vision of LBJ by preparing and guiding the Region's middle and high school students with the college application process. Henceforth, this process is executed by an array of services that TRIO/Educational Talent Search provides. Our program services consist of, but are not limited to: preparing for the ACT/SAT exam, developing academic resumes, researching scholarship opportunities, completing Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms (FAFSA), academic tutoring, summer camp/Camp Leo, college tours, cultural activities and an array of precollege workshops and seminars.

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In the competitive world of college admissions, providing low income and potential first generation college students with ACT and SAT test taking strategies and fee waivers are critical services that TRIO/Educational Talent Search provides for students enrolled in the Educational Talent Search Program at Purdue University Northwest. Answering a few questions correctly on the SAT/ACT can result in hundreds and thousands of scholarship and financial aid dollars that a student may be eligible to qualify for.

The college application and financial aid process can be a tedious and mind-numbing experience for income eligible students, students with disabilities and potential first generation college students within the NWI region. However, The TRIO/Educational Talent Search at Purdue University Northwest has an array of dedicated staff members with a proven track record of excellence when it comes to providing high quality precollege experiences for students living in the NWI region.

Let us help you in your efforts to navigate high school graduation requirements and connect you with financial aid opportunities along with an array of services centered on the college application process. For more information contact Maceo Rainey at raineym@pnw.edu or 219-785-5312.

Maceo Rainey is director of TRIO Educational Talent Search Program, Purdue University Northwest-Westville. The opinions are the writer's.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.