What is the Student Support Services for Federal TRIO?

Student Support Services are one of the programs under the TRIO Program umbrella offered by the federal government. Designed to help low income students with school requirements, it may be a service you want to take advantage of. Here’s how it works:

What Is TRIO?

TRIO originally referred to three programs dedicated to education and low income students. Today, it is made up of eight programs including the Student Support Services as well as the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs Staff, Upward Bound, Talent Search, Veterans Upward Bound, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement, and Educational Opportunity Centers.

Just like Student Support Services, each of these programs work to help students who may come from low income households, disadvantaged areas, or be a first generation student.

What are Student Support Services?

The Student Support Services program or SSS is offered by the federal government through colleges throughout the United States thanks to grants. The program is dedicated towards helping students complete college requirements (the general education requirements in particular) to ensure each participant has the best chance of completing their degree or goals.

Each SSS project includes programs such as tutoring, course selection assistance, scholarship or financial aid application help, and other support when it comes to finances and education. As with Education Opportunity Centers, this program works to help students become more educated about their finances as well as their courses and college requirements. Students may also qualify for grant aid.

Who Can Take Part in the Student Support Services Program?

All of the TRIO programs are directed towards helping those from low income households who are first generation students and in need of assistance when it comes to academics. Therefore, about two thirds of those participating in the program should fall under those categories. Some schools will not allow you to take part if you do not meet all three requirements, but others are more lenient in their application process. If you aren’t sure if you qualify, make sure you talk to the college about your own situation.

Grant aid can also be offered to students if they are receiving Federal Pell Grants, in their freshmen or sophomore years, and part of the SSS program. Some older students may qualify for the grant under certain circumstances, such as if they are in danger of dropping out of college if the assistance is not received.

To participate in Student Support Services, students have to already be enrolled in the college to apply. Preference is generally given to freshmen or sophomores, but other students may be eligible. However, the entire program is funded by TRIO and completely free if you’re accepted.

The Student Support Services program can be a valuable asset to ensuring you remain in good academic standing while in college as well as helping you understand your financial options when it comes to financial aid, scholarships, tuition, and more. To see if you qualify for the program, make sure you talk to your college’s student affairs or financial aid departments for more information.

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Hilary Cairns

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