Talent Search
About Project Discovery

Project Discovery ~ Talent Search is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education. We are hosted at Western Carolina University. Project Discovery identifies and assists individuals, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school, enroll in and graduate from the post secondary school of their choice.

Project Discovery ~ Talent Search also serves high school dropouts by encouraging them to reenter school and complete their education.  We serve low-income, first-generation college students.

How do I enroll? Easy. Call us for an application. We are limited to 780 spots and they fill quickly, however we enroll about 120 new students each year in September.

Some Facts: 

  • Nearly one-third of all low-income high school graduates who enrolled in college have been served by a TRIO program
  • Students from families with incomes below $22,000 have only a 4% chance of completing college.
  • Students from families with incomes over $72,000 have a 53% chance of graduating from college
  • More than 75% of our students enroll in a program of post secondary education.
  • The Project Discovery program at WCU serves 780 students in 5 target schools here in the western counties of N.C. and the Qualla Boundary.
  • Sixty six percent (66%) of our participants will meet the economic and first generation guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Education for Talent Search programs.
  • More than 95% of our students graduate from high school.
  • More than 95% of our students receive help with college application procedures.
  • More than 95% of our students receive help applying for Federal Financial Aid with the FAFSA.
  • Most students are enrolled in Project Discovery in the 6th or 7th grade and remain in the program through their graduation from high school.
  • There are more than 400 Talent Search programs nationwide serving more than 280,000 students.

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