The federal government has renewed two grants that enable the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC) to help disadvantaged Vermonters prepare for education beyond high school. The grants normally run for four years, but a perfect score on one of its applications qualified VSAC for a five-year grant. The awards are:· $1.9 million over four years for the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) program, which serves adult students.· $2.2 million over five years for the Talent Search program, which serves students in grades 6 through 12.Both EOC and Talent Search are part of TRIO, so-called for three educational opportunity programs created in the 1960s as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. TRIO, now comprising five programs, serves students who are low-income and/or the first generation of their family to attend college. Services include career, college, and financial aid information and counseling; support for academic preparation and study skills; and assistance completing college and financial aid applications.VSAC also participates in the federal GEAR UP program, which was created in the 1990s to serve middle and high school students. VSAC’s most recent GEAR UP grant, for $8.4 million, was funded in 1999.The Vermont Department of Education recently credited VSAC’s Talent Search and GEAR UP staff with playing a role in successful efforts to increase the SAT scores of Vermont high school students.