More About SSS TRiO

ABOUT Student Support Services

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 (SSS) 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 three federal programs. The TRiO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America.

The SSS Program is an academic support program designed to increase the number of low-income, first-generation, or disabled students to graduate from college and to facilitate transfer to a four-year institution. The SSS Program serves 160 eligible students each academic year. SSS Program services include an eight-week summer transition program, academic advisement, personal coaching, career counseling, financial and economic literacy counseling, transfer planning, intensive monitoring of academic progress, financial aid planning, one-on-one unlimited tutoring, priority registration, individualized graduation and transfer planning, and social and enrichment activities. Eligible students may receive the following financial resources: grant aid, book vouchers and child care vouchers through the PCCC Child Care Center.


To be eligible to participate in the SSS Program, a student must:

  1. Demonstrate an academic need
  2. Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or meet the residency requirement for federal student financial assistance
  3. Meet the federal low-income eligibility guidelines
  4. Meet and receive Federal Pell Grant eligibility guidelines
  5. Be a first-generation student (neither parent/guardian has earned a 4-year college degree),
  6. Have a documented disability
    TRiO regulations define an individual with disabilities as "a person who has a diagnosed physical, mental, or learning impairment that substantially limits that person's ability to participate in the educational experiences and opportunities offered by the grantee institution." Thus, for eligibility purposes, academic need considerations are primary.
  7. Must be currently enrolled, or accepted for enrollment. The SSS Program accepts part-time and full-time applicants. Students may apply online at or email:

In an effort to serve more eligible students in need of academic support, priority will be given to non-EOF applicants.

Grant Aid

The services that SSS provides are specifically designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of first-generation and low-income students. One way in which we work towards this goal is by providing participants with financial assistance who have unmet financial need according to the Office of Financial Aid. TRiO SSS participants must satisfy the following federal requirement to receive Grant Aid:

  • Be a Pell Grant recipient

The TRiO SSS Federal Student Grant Aid Award is provided by the U.S. Department of Education to support the educational pursuits of TRiO SSS participants.  Grant amounts are determined by unmet financial need and availability of funds.  Federal Grant Aid Awards do not affect any other grant amounts as it serves to supplement an eligible SSS student’s financial aid package.  The Grant Aid priority funding is for students who are: current SSS participants, in their first two years of postsecondary education, and receiving Federal Pell Grants.