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TRIO Frequently Asked Questions

TRIO Providing Hope and Opportunity

Who is eligible for the TRIO Student Support Services Program?
Program students must be a citizen or National of the United States or meet the residency requirements for federal financial assistance, be enrolled at the College full-time or accepted for enrollment to the University, and meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • A first-generation college student where neither parent/guardian (or parent if a single parent household) completed a 4-year college degree
  • Demonstrate financial or economic need
  • An individual with a documented disability

To discuss your eligibility and complete an application contact us at: sssp@westfield.ma.edu or 413-572-5793

How regularly do I meet with a TRIO coordinator?
First-year students meet regularly with a TRIO coordinator. They are assigned to a TRIO Coordinator to determine their learning strengths and challenges and devise a Student Success Plan outlining the most appropriate services TRIO and the University can provide. Coordinators support first-year students as they acquire new skills and learn how to be a successful college student; however, their role does not stop here. Students remain in the program through to the successful completion of earning their degree and utilize program resources in a variety of ways: through one-on-one TRIO Coordinator support, by attending workshops and cultural events, by using program tutors and through the Peer Leadership Program.
 
Can I be in the TRIO if I’m a commuter?
Yes! TRIO is available to students who meet the program eligibility criteria whether the student lives on campus or commutes. Part of the TRIO programming focuses on the challenges commuters face and the supports they need to achieve success balancing their busy lives.
 
How do I connect with a TRIO Peer Leader?
Marjorie Rodriguez, Program Coordinator, organizes the TRIO Peer Leadership Program. Please contact her at mrodriguez@westfield.ma.edu or 413-572-5793
 
If I’m a student with a learning disability, what documentation do you need from me to be a program participant?
Students with documented disabilities are eligible for TRIO services. The documentation needed for students with disabilities is in line with what Disability Services requires. For students with learning disabilities, a psycho-educational evaluation that includes both cognitive and achievement assessments diagnosing the specific disability would be needed. For other types of disabilities, please contact a program coordinator to discuss the documentation needed.
 
If you are looking to receive specific accommodations for a disability, please contact Laura Cummings at lcummings@westfield.ma.edu 413-572-5789.
 
If I am a student in the Urban Education Program or in the Learning Disabilities Program, can I participate in TRIO too?
Yes. A student can participate in multiple programs. Most often, however, students feel they are getting the support they need from one program.
 
If I am adopted and I know that my biological parents did not graduate with a 4-year college degree am I considered a first-generation-college student?
First-generation status has to do with the household you were primarily raised in. If in this household your parents or guardian(s) did not graduate with a 4-year degree then you would be considered a first-generation college student.
 
How do I determine if I qualify for the program based on financial need?
We encourage students who feel they may be eligible to participate based on financial or economic need to apply to the program and go through the verification of financial need process. We determine financial need eligibility in conjunction with Westfield State University’s Financial Aid Office and federal guidelines for low-income households.