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GAO: Education Department Should Ensure Data on TRIO's Effectiveness Are Accurate

January 20, 2021

The Education Department should examine if it is getting accurate information from those receiving TRIO funds to see if the money is leading to results, the Government Accounting Office said in a report Monday.

The department relies on data provided by those receiving the grants, which are aimed at increasing the graduation rate of low-income, first-generation college students. But it does not check to see if the information from the grantees, 92 percent of which are colleges and universities, is accurate. Because receiving new grants is based in part on having used previous grants effectively, grantees have an incentive to give the department inaccurate information, the report said.

The Education Department largely agreed it should take steps to make sure the information it receives from those getting grants is accurate.

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