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Civil engineering major Cheyanne Harris ’17 of Sacramento is one of 200 University of the Pacific students to benefit from the University’s SUCCESS program. A $1.4 million, five-year federal grant will help the program provide 200 students each year with tutoring and academic support, financial and personal counseling, career guidance, and help with graduate and professional school applications.

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$1.4M grant supports underserved college students

Aug 24, 2015

A $1.4 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help 200 first-generation, low-income or disabled students attend University of the Pacific, the oldest chartered university in California.

The grant will help fund Pacific's SUCCESS program, which works to increase retention and graduation rates of eligible students and helps them to pursue advanced degrees. Of students who enter the SUCCESS program as freshmen, 92 percent make it to graduation and 97 percent maintain a C average or better. The overall GPA for SUCCESS students is 3.04.

Program services include tutoring and academic support, financial and personal counseling, career guidance, and help with graduate and professional school applications. Pacific is one of only five private universities statewide to receive one of the DOE's TRiO Student Support Services grants this year.

"This grant will enable Pacific to build on its longstanding commitment to first-generation and low-income students. We recognize the importance of our SUCCESS program in helping these students achieve their full potential by providing the necessary resources for them to succeed," said Patrick Day, Pacific's vice president for student life.

Since it was established in 1979, Pacific's SUCCESS program has served nearly 7,000 students, including Jose Hernandez '85, a Stockton native who went on to become a NASA astronaut, and  civil engineering major Cheyanne Harris '17 of Sacramento.

"My experience in the SUCCESS program has allowed me to excel during my time here at Pacific," Harris said. "Because of the program's support I have been able to develop a strong foundation in difficult courses, while also gaining the confidence to consider a career in academia. As a first-generation college student, SUCCESS has encouraged me to pursue my dreams."

Harris last year won two prestigious awards to study in Japan: the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship and the U.S. Department of Defense's Boren Scholarship.

"I'm very pleased Pacific was awarded the five-year grant so that we will be able to help 200 students to succeed here," said program director and author of the grant Anita Bautista. "The grant serves as acknowledgement of the program's effectiveness."

To be eligible, a student must be accepted or enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at Pacific, be a first-generation student, meet DOE income guidelines and/or have a documented disability. In addition, recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and have an academic need for program services.

To learn more about SUCCESS at Pacific, visit

To learn more about DOE TRiO Student Support Services, visit

Media contact:
Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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