College of the Desert will receive more than $4 million from the federal government to pay for programs intended to help disabled, low-income and first-generation college students and veterans.

The U.S. Department of Education will pay out the funds over the next five years, which must be spent on a series of federal outreach and student services programs that fall under the umbrella term ”TRIO.”

The college’s TRIO ACES program helps first-generation and low-income students by offering one-on-one counseling, whether it be of an academic, career or personal nature.

TRIO Disabled Students Services Program & Services help students with verifiable disabilities who are low-income and first-generation college students. The TRIO Veterans Program helps veterans maneuver through community college, and on to four-year universities.

College of the Desert has been a TRIO-serving institution for more than 20 years, according to Oscar Espinoza-Parra, the college’s dean of enrollment services.

“The program allows us to provide resources to students with disadvantaged backgrounds who otherwise may not have access or be successful in their educational pursuits,” Espinoza-Parra said.

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