DOE To Push Forward $1.2 Billion Biden Plan To Expand Federal College-Prep Aid To Illegal Immigrants

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 04, 2024 - 07:00 PM

By Emily Sturge of

A Feb. 9 Federal TRIO Programs Subcommittee meeting could push the Biden administration one step closer to extending $1.2 billion in college-preparatory programs to illegal immigrants.

A draft proposal released Jan. 12 by the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education argued in favor of extending Federal TRIO programs to illegal immigrants. TRIO programs are a set of eight “outreach and student services” initiatives meant to prepare “low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities” for college, as seen on the program page. 

At the upcoming meeting, subcommittee members will discuss “participant eligibility” and then present their recommendations to an overhead committee, as stated by the Office of Postsecondary Education. Subcommittee members could continue to push the proposal to include illegal immigrants in TRIO programs.

Some services provided are “academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring,” and “financial guidance,” as well as “assistance in applying to college,” “workplace and college visits,” and “special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics,” according to the Council for Opportunity in Education. 

TRIO programs receive roughly $1.2 billion in federal funding annually and currently serve over 800,000 low-income students. Illegal immigrant students have been prohibited from receiving TRIO benefits, as well as other federal benefits, since 1986.

Around 100,000 illegal immigrant students graduate from U.S. high schools annually, as stated on Higher Ed Immigration Portal. Those students could become eligible for TRIO.

Additionally, there are more than 600,000 K-12 illegal immigrant students enrolled in U.S. schools, according to, which means hundreds of thousands of future high school graduates who could become eligible for TRIO initiatives.

“In California, I think this added language will be significantly beneficial for our programs. We are fortunate, California being a little bit more liberal . . . that our colleges do accept undocumented students,” said Emalyn Lapus, a member of the subcommittee, at the Jan. 12 meeting.

Campus Reform has previously reported on the Biden administration’s efforts to expand TRIO benefits to illegal immigrants.