Tuesday, May 01, 2012 09:30 PM



TRIO Overview:

Our nation has made a commitment to provide 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 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 financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

TRIO programs are very effective and many students from first generation and low-income families depend on them to succeed in high school and college. In fact, since 1965 an estimated 2 million students have graduated from college with the special assistance and support of our nation's TRIO Programs.


 TRIO is made up of the following programs:

Pre-College Programs


College Programs

Upward Bound


Student Support Services

Talent Search


Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate

Educational Opportunity Centers



Upward Bound Math Science



Veterans Upward Bound





Who is Served

As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of TRIO students must come from families with annual incomes under $28,000, with neither parent graduating from college. More than 2,700 TRIO Programs currently serve nearly 866,000 low-income Americans. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-seven percent of TRIO students are white, 35 percent are African-American, 19 percent are Hispanic, 4 percent are Native American, 4 percent are Asian-American, and 1 percent are 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 Program.


How it Works

More than 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO programs in America. TRIO 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 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 compared to students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.