History of the TRIO Program

TRiO programs have been established and funded by the U.S. Department of Education in order to promote access to and success in higher education for first-generation college and low-income students and students with documented disabilities.

“The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960's, the term ‘TRIO’ was coined to describe these federal programs.”


Today, 930 Student Support Services projects exist nation-wide. Other TRiO programs include McNair Scholars Program, Gear Up, EOC, Upward Bound Math/Science, and Veterans Upward Bound.