The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization established in 1981dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. Through its numerous membership services the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies to help low-income students enter college and graduate. More than a million low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies.

State Funded Programs Trio Programs

·       Household income lower than 200% of the federal poverty line (185% for SEEK/CD)


·       Household income lower than 150% of the federal poverty line



·       High school academic performance does not reflect student’s potential


·       1st generation college student

·       Students with disabilities


·       From minority population underrepresented in higher-ed

Federal TRiO programs allow college preparedness to begin before junior year of high school, extending the pipeline for state-funded programs.

Middle School

  • Talent Search

High School

  • Talent Search
  • Upward Bound
  • Upward Bound Math and Science
  • Veterans Upward Bound

College and Grad School

  • State-funded Opportunity Programs
  • Student Support Services
  • McNair Scholars

Talent Search and Upward Bound Programs

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bronx Community College
  • The City College of New York
  • Brooklyn College
  • Lehman College
  • John Jay College
  • Medgar Evers College

Send students to:

  • 11 SEEK Programs
  • 6 College Discovery Programs
  • 5 Colleges with Student Support Services
  • 2 Colleges with McNair Programs

Talent Search and Upward Bound Programs

CUNY Locations: BMCC

Educational Opportunity Centers located throughout the country primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families. These Centers help individuals to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. There are 165 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 225,000 individuals. Recent analysis of performance data of the Educational Opportunity Centers found that more than half (57.6%) of “college-ready” students enrolled in institutions of higher learning and 71% of eligible EOC participants (high school seniors, postsecondary dropouts, etc.) applied to college.

CUNY Locations: Hunter College and John Jay College

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program is designed to encourage low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study. Students who participate in this program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors. This program was named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion. Currently, there are 151 projects, serving more than 4,300 students. According to recent performance data, in 2013-14, 69% of McNair participants who graduated in 2010-11 were enrolled in graduate school; meanwhile, 83% of students who first enrolled in graduate school in 2012-2013 persisted in their studies.

CUNY Locations: City College, KBCC, Lehman College, Queens College, York College

Student Support Services projects work to enable low-income students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants, who include disabled college students, receive tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction. More than 203,000 students are now being served by 1,071 Student Support Service programs at colleges and universities nationwide. Recent studies of Student Support Services found that program participation resulted in statistically significant higher rates of student retention and transfer, improved grade point averages, and credit accumulation. Program participants also bested their similarly situated peers in degree completion at both two-year colleges (41% vs. 28%) and four-year colleges (48% vs. 40%).

CUNY Locations: BCC, Brooklyn College, John Jay College, Lehman College and Medgar Evers

Talent Search projects serve young people in grades six through twelve. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps youth from low-income families better understand their educational opportunities and options. More than 316,000 students are enrolled in 481 Talent Search TRiO projects. According to the more recent data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of Talent Search participants enrolled in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation.

CUNY Locations: BMCC, BCC, City College, John Jay College, and Medgar Evers

Upward Bound (UB) is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. Campus-based UB programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer. UB also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid, and scholarship forms. Recent analysis from the U.S. Department of Education showed that 86 percent of Upward Bound students in the 2013–14 high school graduation cohort enrolled immediately in college following high school graduation.

CUNY Locations: BCC

Using a similar model to Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science provides students with a rigorous math and science curriculum in high school to encourage and enable them to successfully major in critically important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines in college. Indeed, 70% of Upward Bound Math-Science programs have postsecondary enrollments of 80% or higher.

CUNY Locations: LaGCC

The Veterans Upward Bound program provides intensive basic skills development and short-term remedial courses for military veterans to help them successfully transition to postsecondary education. Veterans learn how to secure support from available resources such as the Veterans Administration, veterans associations, and various state and local agencies that serve veterans. According to the National Association of Veterans Upward Bound Program Personnel, in 2010-2011, more than 60% of recent program participants were enrolled in postsecondary education programs.