Federal Trio Programs

Every year, Congress invests nearly a billion dollars into TRIO programs that aim to increase college enrollment and completion rates for students of color and low income.

The Federal Trio Programs is a set of federal programs designed to help students from low-income families get into and through college. Its staff includes individuals who have been in the same situation as the students they serve who can relate to them and encourage them. Many of these students are first-generation college attendees, and the program’s goal is to break the poverty cycle resulting from a lack of education.In addition to the financial support they receive, TRIO students receive academic instruction and encouragement from their advisors. This instruction is usually delivered through a full semester course, preparing students for college coursework and developing the necessary skills to succeed in higher education.

There are eight programs in total that make up the TRIO program, and each one is designed to serve a different group of students. The best-known program, Upward Bound, is for high school students who are from low-income families and first-generation to go to college. Another popular program is Talent Search, which targets students in rural areas and students from families where no one has gone to college.

What Are the Objectives of Trio Program
Federal Trio Programs 1

What Are the Objectives of Trio Program?

Each program has specific, measurable objectives that are laid out in the grant proposal. Each program also operates against a target population. Program directors are held accountable and must meet these objectives in order to keep their grants.

Upward Bound Math-Science targets students who are in their 8th grade and are from low-income or first-generation college families, the program offers tutoring, advising services, and STEM summer activities, along with connections to university faculty.

Talent Search and Student Support Services serve racial and ethnic minority high school students, they offer tutoring, academic and career counseling, special enrichment programs, and financial aid assistance. Programs like these have helped millions of students succeed and graduate from college. Many of these graduates are leaders in their fields, including New England alumni: University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Keith Motley; NASA astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz; Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis; and NBA coach Patrick Ewing.

Trio Program Requirements
Federal Trio Programs 2

Trio Program Requirements

There are eight different programs within the TRIO program that focus on helping disadvantaged students. These include Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Each of these programs has their own requirements and focuses on helping different types of students. Many of the staff members at these programs have had to overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to their success in higher education, so they understand their students’ struggles.

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