Who is TRIO?

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.

How it Works

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

Who is Served

As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes under $28,000, where neither parent graduated 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 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. Twenty-two thousand students with disabilities and more than 25,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs as well. For more race and ethnicity data for each TRIO Program (Upward Bound, UB Math/Science, SSS, Talent Search, EOC, and McNair), see “Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Federal TRIO Programs,” a News You Can Use fact sheet from the National TRIO Clearinghouse.

National TRIO Day

According to the 1986 Congressional resolution, National TRIO Day is meant to focus the nation's "attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives, to the necessary investment if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made." TRIO Day has been proclaimed a National Day of Service. We encourage programs to perform some sort of community service-as a way for TRIO to give back to their community and say thank you for its support. Every year, TRIO Day is the last Saturday of February. TRIO Day is February 24th, but events don't need to be limited to that day.