TRiO Programs

TRIO Department

About TRIO Federal Programs

TRIO Programs consist of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. 790,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities, from sixth grade through college graduation are served by over 2,800 programs nationally. These programs assist young people from low-income families, potential first-generation college students and students with disabilities. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff. Over 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO Programs in America.

History of TRIO

TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Then, in 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, another program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students (later known as Student Support Services), was launched in 1968. Together, this "trio" of federally-funded programs encouraged access to higher education for low-income students. By 1998, the TRIO programs had become a vital pipeline to opportunity, serving traditional students, displaced workers, and veterans. The original three programs had grown to eight, adding Educational Opportunity Centers in 1972, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs in 1976, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program in 1986, Upward Bound Math/Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, College of the Mainland proudly hosts two of TRIO’s college access programs: TRIO-Upward Bound and TRIO-Student Support Services.

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