What is the Federal TRIO Program?

Out of all the programs available to students, one you may not have heard of is the Federal TRIO Program. Here’s a quick rundown on what this service entails:

What Is It?

The Federal TRIO Program is actually made up of eight individual programs, each set up to identify, assist, and provide services to those from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds. Run by the Department of Education, they tend to offer assistance to low income individuals and first generation students heading to college, but each program has different requirements.

The name TRIO comes from the original three programs that were created in 1965, thanks to the Higher Education Act.

What Are The Eight Programs?

The Federal TRIO Program consists of eight programs, each with different aims. Some are for higher education or grants while others are community based organizations.

1. Upward Bound

Upward Bound (UB) was one of the first programs within TRIO. It is geared towards high school students who come from low income families, live in rural areas, or have parents who have not attended college. The students who are entered into the program receive individual grants.

2. Talent Search

Talent Search or TS is also for students who are from low income families or have parents who do not have a degree. Although it is grant funded, the program actually uses intervention strategies to help students who are in middle school and high school pursue higher education.

3. Student Support Services

The third original service of the TRIO program is known as Student Support Services or SSS. Grants for this program are given to higher education schools through a federal competition. The program is designed to support students throughout college, including graduation but also for completing their basic requirements. It’s aimed towards college retention, graduation rates, and assisting students who are receiving Pell Grants.

4. Veterans Upward Bound

Designed solely for veterans, Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) is to help students apply, get accepted, and graduate college. It focuses on improving enrollment and graduation rates, but also enhancing the skill sets needed to succeed.

5. Educational Opportunity Centers

Also known as EOC, the Educational Opportunity Centers are for adults rather than high school aged students. They are designed to teach financing, economics, and federal aid options in an effort to increase the number of adults enrolling in colleges.

6. Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Shortened to the McNair Scholars Program, the service focuses on helping students attend graduate schools and earn PhDs. The individuals who participate are usually first generation students, from low income households, or are from a group underrepresented in graduate schools.

7. Upward Bound Math-Science

Upward Bound Math-Science provides counseling and training for students who have finished 8th grade  and are from a low income or first generation college household in math and science. The program also has summer classes to assist with a number of subjects from English to physics that can count as a college credit.

8. Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs

TRIO Staff Training is for those wishing to work within the program. Also sponsored by a grant, the awards go to colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations to train and develop future staff. They usually consist of conferences, workshops, internships, and more.

To learn more about the Federal TRIO Program and how you or a family member may qualify or apply to one of the eight services, visit the Department of Education’s website.

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