About TRiO

What is TRiO?

TRiO is a set of seven federally-funded educational opportunity outreach programs and one staff training program that seek to motivated and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds, namely low-income, first-generation students.  TRiO programs, currently serving nearly 850,000 students from middle school through post-graduate study across America, 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.

Where did TRiO come from?

The TRiO programs were the first national college access retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America.   TRiO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.  The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established in 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 veteran.  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.

How do TRiO programs help students?

Talent Search:  Talent Search focuses on low-cost, early intervention, working with students deemed to have “college potential” in grades 6-12.  Students receive information about college admissions, scholarships and various student financial aid programs.  Most students are from families that make less than $28, 000 a year and have parents that have never been to college.  Currently, 386,240 students are served by 471 Talent Search projects across the country.

Upward Bound: Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses.  College campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and during the summer.  Upward Bound also, provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.  There are 774 Upward Bound programs throughout the United States.

Upward Bound Math-Science: Upward Bound Math-Science aims to strengthen academic preparedness in math, science, and technology using a model similar to the classic Upward Bound Program.  The program assists students in rigorous Math & Science curriculum in high school to encourage and enable them to major in STEM disciplines in college.  There are 130 programs across the country.

Veteran Upward Bound: Veteran Upward Bound (VUB) provides a unique service to veterans returning to college, aiding them in the transition process through intensive basic skills development and short-term remedial courses. Additionally, participants receive assistance in navigating the services offered by Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans association and other organizations that aid veterans.

Student Support Services: Student Support Services (SSS) programs help low-income and first-generation students, including those who are disabled, to successfully begin and stay in college.  Participants receive tutoring, counseling, and remedial instruction in order to achieve their goals of college completion. There are 930 colleges and universities nationwide provide Student Support Services.

U.S. Department of Education Seal

Education Opportunity Centers:  Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC’s) target displaced or underemployed workers from low-income families.  These centers help students choose colleges and guide them through the often confusing financial aid process.  There are 138 centers working with 210,000 individuals.

Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement:  The McNair program encourages and prepares low-income and minority students for doctoral study and pursue careers in college teaching.  The McNair program provides research opportunities and faculty mentoring. There are 179 programs that serve 4,100 students throughout the country.

The legislative requirements for all TRiO programs can be found in the Higher Education Act of 1965,Title IV, Part A, Subpart 2.