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What is TRIO?

In support of this nation’s commitment to equal access to education, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These Programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs (initially just three programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

 

Who is Served

Two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes under a stated level, where neither parent graduated from college. More than 2,700 TRIO Programs currently serve nearly 866,000 students. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-seven percent of TRIO students are Whites, 35% are African-Americans, 19% are Hispanics, 4% are Native Americans, 4% are Asian-Americans, and 1% is listed as "Other," including multiracial students. Twenty-two thousand students with disabilities and more than 25,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs as well.

 

How it Works

Over 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO Programs in America. TRIO federal funds are distributed to institutions through competitive grants.

 

Evidence of Achievement

Students in the Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in TRIO; nearly 20 percent of all Black and Hispanic freshmen who entered college in 1981 received assistance through the TRIO Talent Search or EOC programs; students in the TRIO Student Support Services program are more than twice as likely to remain in college than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.

**info adapted from the Upward Bound, Grand Valley State University, website**