GCSC TRiO Educational Opportunity Center Grant Renewed for Another Five Years

Community News


Panama City, FL – The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Gulf Coast State College’s Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) grant has been renewed through 2026.


The grant is fully-funded by the U.S. Department of Education, providing the college $272,753 annually for the next five years, totaling $1.4 million. These funds enable the EOC program to assist, prepare, and support program participants in gaining the skills necessary to pursue post-secondary education. This is the 2nd award cycle that Gulf Coast State College has received this funding.


The EOC program at Gulf Coast State College serves approximately 1,000 potential students from Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties each year. It has a broad focus to include those who are first-generation, low-income, disabled, limited English proficient, homeless, and/or have been identified as unaccompanied youth, adolescence that are aging out of the foster care system, individuals from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, and other disconnected students.


The EOC aids with:

  • Admissions applications to any accredited college, university or vocational/technical center
  • Financial aid and scholarship applications, including FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Admissions applications to transfer to an upper-level college or university
  • Educational and career exploration/planning
  • GED preparation and tutoring
  • Referral for additional support services


For additional information or questions, please contact Diane Garrard at [email protected] or 850.873.3526.



The creation of EOC was authorized by The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 and is part of a set of federal outreach and student services programs known as “TRiO,” which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and is designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in higher education.

Contact: Brittany Rock, Director of Marketing and Communications

[email protected] | (850) 872.3822