Campus News

Dillard University Educational Talent Search Celebrates 51 Years!

  1. Dillard University’s Educational Talent Search (ETS)  is a federally funded, national TRiO program that is committed to prepare and motivate first generation junior high and high school students for success in postsecondary education. Since 1968, ETS has been serving the New Orleans students with accessibility and equity in education. Here are 51 facts about ETS, below.


1. Educational Talent Search (ETS) first launched in 1965 as part of the TRiO programs.

2. The TRiO programs-named for the original three: Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Student Support Services.

3. The original three TRiO programs were created during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration as part of his “War on Poverty.”

4. Over 1,200 colleges, universities, community colleges and agencies now offer TRiO programs in America. There are 463 ETS programs in the United States serving more than 359,740 students.

5. TRiO programs are federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

6. Today, there are nine federally funded TRiO programs.

7. While TRiO might have originated as a demonstration program serving just a handful of students for a few million dollars in the 1960s, it has grown into a billion-dollar program serving over a million students by the 21st century.

8. Dillard University, Educational Talent Search: 50th. Anniversary (1968-1969/ academic year to 2018-219/ academic year), (Note: ETS is celebrating 50 continuous years at Dillard University).

9. Theme: Educational Talent Search at 50: “Still Removing Barriers to Higher Education.”

10. ETS is designed to remove the barriers for students so that they can concentrate on running the race towards higher education.

11. Color Theme: Gold

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  1. 12. ETS is a Community-based program with emphasis upon education.


  1. 13. ETS identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.


  1. 14. ETS assists Low-Income/First-Generation college-bound youths to find their way to higher education.


  1. 15. ETS is Free for eligible students.


  1. 16. ETS offers academic advising, study skills, test-taking guidance, ACT/SAT preparations, college enrollment support, financial literacy programs, tutorial services, career exploration, mentoring, workshops, information on postsecondary institutions, college tours, and cultural enrichment activities to qualified students in 6th. -12th. grade.


  1. 17. ETS serves three Target Schools: Cohen College Prep, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Charter School for Science and Technology, and L.W. Higgins High School.


  1. 18. ETS assists 754 students per academic year.


  1. 19. ETS provides a Saturday Academy throughout the academic year for students.


  1. 20. ETS provides a 5-week Summer Enrichment program each year.


  1. 21. Each year more than 68% of ETS’ students enter college immediately after graduating from high school.

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  1. 22. ETS has served more than 38,000 students during its 50-year history.


  1. 23. Nationally, there are approximately 475 ETS programs. Of note, 12% (57) of the ETS programs are located at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).


  1. 24. Approximately 61% of program participants are female.


  1. 25. Approximately 39% of program participants are male.


  1. 26. Approximately 95% of participants are African-American.


  1. 27. Approximately 90% of participants are between 14 and 18 years of age.


  1. 28. Approximately 27% of participants are enrolled in middle school (i.e., grades six through eight).


  1. 29. Approximately 52% of participants are in high school/ non-seniors (i.e., grades nine through 11).


  1. 30. Approximately 21% of students are high school seniors (i.e., grade 12).


  1. 31. Approximately 75% of students are Low-Income and First-Generation.

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  1. 32. Approximately 7% of students are Low-Income only.


  1. 33. Approximately 12% of students are First-Generation only.


  1. 34. Approximately 95% of students qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program.


  1. 35. The 8th. Grade Initiative Scholarship NASA Grant (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $300,00.00.


  1. 36. The 8th. Grade Initiative Scholarship AT&T Grant (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $35,00.00.


  1. 37. The RosaMary Foundation 8th. Grade Initiative Scholarship (Funded July, 2012); (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $500,00.00 to the year 2018.


  1. 38. The President Marvalene Hughes and Dr. David Brinks 8th. Grade Initiative Endowment (personal gifts); (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $110,877.00.


  1. 39. The Board of Regents Endowment Match Grant for the 8th. Grade Initiative; (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $40,000.00.


  1. 40. Other gifts to President Marvalene Hughes and Dr. David Brinks 8th. Grade Initiative Endowment (personal gifts); (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Funded at $125,387.00.

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  1. 41. ETS/8th. Grade Initiative Program Scholarships at Dillard University: 34 students: over $134,680.00.


  1. 42. 8th. Grade Initiative/ETS Scholarship Funding (transitioned to ETS August 2014 after program funding was exhausted): Endowment: Total: $1,041,264.00.


  1. 43. ETS has garnered more than $15 million for students’ program services.


  1. 44. ETS’ grant proposal is funded for 5-years at a time.


  1. 45. ETS’ grant proposal is written every 5-years.


  1. 46. Most popular tutoring requests: Algebra, English/Writing, Spanish


  1. 47. Most popular cultural enrichment activities: College Tours, Plays at Dillard University, Plantation visits, Civil Rights Tours, African-American Museum tours, LIGO Physics Laboratory, Swamp Tours, and Swimming.



  1. 48. Most popular restaurants for cultural enrichment activities: Chic-Fi-La, Golden Corral, and Pizza Hut.


  1. 49. Most popular program services: Financial Aid/FAFSA assistance, Completion of College Applications, and Mentoring.


  1. 50. Most popular enrolled colleges: Delgado Community College, Dillard University, and Southeastern Louisiana University.


  1. 51. Most popular enrolled major in college are: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, General Studies, Nursing, and Psychology.



Photography: Sabree Hill, University Photography

For more information about ETS, please contact Dr. Kevin Bastian (


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