First-Gen Students Get Boost From Two Grants

By Erin Broomell | Copy Editor

This past summer, the college received two grants to benefit first generation college students. 

In May, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs renewed a $1.16 million federal grant for TRIO Student Support Services Program. In July, the board of the Coca-Cola Foundation approved a new $50,000 grant to the College of Coastal Georgia Foundation. 

According to College President Gregory Aloia, 45 percent of CCGA students are self-identified as first-generation students. 

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Tracy Pellett is looking forward to the TRIO program’s future.

“All of us at the College of Coastal Georgia are excited to know TRIO is able to continue providing critically needed services to eligible low-income, first-generation students from southeastern coastal Georgia and beyond,” Pellett said. “These students have a variety of academic and personal challenges that hinder their potential success in college. 

“The College’s TRIO program has established a solid track record, exceeding the Department of Education requirements and national averages, over the past three years and we look forward to continuing for the next five.”

The $1.16 million for TRIO Services will be distributed to the College over the next five years beginning in September 2015. The Coca-Cola grant will provide four-year scholarships to 10 incoming freshman who are the first in their family to attend college and have a demonstrated financial need. The scholarships will total $5,000 per student over four years, provided the student maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA. First-generation college students who come from low income families or have a disability are eligible to apply for TRIO Support Services provided they are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents and have a need for academic services. Applications are available online or at Trio Services inside the library. 

The College began contacting incoming freshman eligible to apply for the Coca-Cola scholarships last month.

The CCGA Foundation Scholarship application period opens this October for the 2016 - 2017 school year.

According to Vice President for Enrollment Clayton Daniels there is a general shortage of College Foundation scholarship applicants, both first-generation students and others. Although the College has over 3,000 students currently enrolled, the College Foundation only receives about 600 scholarship applications each year. Daniels would like to see that number increase to 1,000.