What is TRIO?
Who Does TRIO Serve?
The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
TRIO includes eight outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
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.
As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with low-moderate income where neither parent graduated from college.
More than 2,800 TRIO Programs currently serve nearly 758,000 low-income Americans. 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% are listed as "Other," including multiracial students.
Seven thousand students with disabilities and more than 6,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs as well.
Low-income students are being left behind. Only 38% of low-income high school seniors go straight to college as compared to 81% of their peers in the highest income quartile. Then, once enrolled in college, low-income students earn bachelor's degrees at a rate that is less than half of that of their high-income peers — 21% as compared with 45%.
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.