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Cal Poly Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Help Disadvantaged Students Get to College

Cal Poly Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Help Disadvantaged Students Get to College

Five-Year Grant from U.S. Dept. of Education Will Bolster Student Academic Services Programs for Junior High and High Schoolers

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year, $1.2 million grant to Cal Poly Student Affairs to help junior high and high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

The grant will support 500 participants each year through Cal Poly’s Educational Talent Search, a U.S. Department of Education-funded program designed to assist participants reach a post-secondary education.

Educational Talent Search, a program of Cal Poly’s Student Academic Services, provides counseling and support to participants through various programs, campus tours, SAT/ACT prep courses, college application/FAFSA assistance, parent workshops, academic, career, and financial counseling.

Last academic year, 92 percent of high school students who participated in Educational Talent Search went on to pursue a post-secondary education. 

“We create impactful programs that get young students ready for the rigors of college life — and it’s working,” said Debi Hill, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. 

Daniela Plascencia, an Educational Talent Search outreach counselor and advisor for Student Academic Services, commented on her personal experiences: “I know firsthand the impact the grant will have on students. For students to know that there are people and resources available to help them is encouraging. It makes their academic goals attainable.”

For more information on Cal Poly’s Educational Talent Search, please visit

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