Congressman Mike Thompson announces $565,665 ‘Talent Search Program’ grant for Sonoma State

Department of Education Talent Search Program will help disadvantaged students succeed in higher education
August 15, 2022
New grant helps Sonoma State ensure education opportunities are available for everyone in our commun

New grant helps Sonoma State ensure education opportunities are available for everyone in our community.

(Rohnert Park, CA) August 15, 2022 – Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that Sonoma State University is receiving a grant for the Department of Education Talent Search Program in the amount of $565,665. This program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

“Higher education opens doors to economic success and lays the groundwork for achievement,” said Thompson. “Sonoma State provides our community with a path to a variety of degrees, and the Academic Talent Search Programs provides an opportunity for those in underserved communities to achieve their higher education goals. I look forward to a continued partnership with Sonoma State to ensure that every student has a chance to succeed in education and earn their degrees.”

Academic Talent Search recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand how the value of a college degree can transform the life trajectory of a student, their family, and the extended community – oftentimes for generations,” said Sonoma State’s President Mike Lee. “This talent search grant will give us the much-needed resources to ensure Sonoma State can level the playing field and continue its commitment to ensuring higher education opportunities are available for everyone in our community."

One of the Federal TRIO Programs, Academic Talent Search (ATS) identifies and assists middle and high school students who have the potential to succeed in higher education. At least two-thirds of the students in each local ATS program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.  ATS provides these students with counseling as well as information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs so that they can better understand their educational opportunities and options. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of ATS participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation.  

"Sonoma State couldn't be more excited to receive the new five-year funding for its Academic Talent Search program," said Vice President for Student Affairs Gerald L. Jones, J.D. "Creating access to higher education for low-income, first-generation college students is one of our top priorities and this funding allows us to help do so by making the college-going dreams of the students and families we serve a reality."

For more information about ATS programs at Sonoma State, visit:

PRESS CONTACT: Rob Eyler, Interim AVP, Govt. and Regional Relations and PIO. 707-664-4256