TRIO Frequently Asked Questions

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

Questions about your eligibility or application? Email: 

How often 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. Students remain in the program until they graduate and utilize program resources such as one-on-one TRIO Coordinator support, program tutors, and 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 Mentor?

Let your program coordinator know you are interested in connecting with a TRIO Peer Mentor, and we will make it happen!

If I’m a student with a 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. Please contact TRIO to discuss the documentation needed. Students who are registered with and have provided updated documentation to Disability Services do not need to provide it again to TRIO.

We encourage you to contact Disability Services to discuss registering with them and the process to receive accommodations. To learn more about registering with Disability Services and requesting accommodations, please contact

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.