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Nearly forty eight years ago, in October 1967, a group of dedicated local college admissions and financial aid representatives joined with the staff of the Washington Office to establish a postsecondary educational counseling program for residents of the District of Columbia. The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), formerly known as Opportunity Project for Education Now (Project OPEN), was funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Educational Opportunity Centers are one type in a set of eight educational opportunity outreach programs federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education — collectively called TRIO programs — that help low-income, first-generation students pursue educational opportunities.

At its inception, the program known as Project OPEN was one of the first Talent Search Programs that TRIO funded under the Higher Education Act of 1965. In 1976 the staff and services were substantially expanded via funding made possible by the 1972 amendments to the Higher Education Act, which authorized the establishment of the Educational Opportunity Centers. The College Board has served as the fiscal agent for these federal TRIO grants and has made numerous contributions over the years.

For over 47 years, the Washington, D.C., Educational Opportunity Center has been engaged in a significant effort to break the cycle of poverty by helping the economically disadvantaged citizens of our nation’s capital make the transition from secondary to postsecondary education. In order to accomplish this goal, our EOC annually identifies 2,959 adults and students and disseminates sufficient information to foster enrollment and retention in postsecondary institutions. Committed to providing quality service, EOC provides many services. Among these are: supplying speakers for community- sponsored educational workshops; helping disadvantaged adults and youth enter and succeed in their educational pursuits by offering career, admissions and financial aid counseling and application completion assistance; offering practice SAT and GED testing; and holding an annual adult college and career day.