Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance. In support of this commitment, 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.
Students enrolled in today's TRIO Programs mirror our nation's multi-cultural and multiethnic society. Thirty-seven percent of TRIO students are White, 35% are African-American, 19% are Hispanic, 4% are Native American and 4% are Asian-American. Twenty-two thousand TRIO students are disabled.
TRIO college graduates are working in business, industry, government, medicine, law, education, communications, sales, finance, politics, transportation, publishing, law enforcement, computer science and technology, engineering, and accounting.
The TRIO Programs consist of Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement, Student Support Services, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Science, and Veterans Upward Bound. Wilson Community College has Student Support Services and Upward Bound.
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.
Student Support Services programs work to enable low-income students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants, who include disabled college students, receive tutoring, counseling, and remedial instruction. Students are now being served at 930 colleges and universities nationwide.
Upward Bound helps youth prepare for higher education. Participants receive instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, and science on college campuses after school, on Saturdays, and during the summer.
Director of TRiO Program