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TRiO Student Support Services

What is TRIO?

Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, and 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 3 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.

Student of the Month - Jennifer Mick

Hi, my name is Jennifer Mick and I am a business major concentrating in accounting. I started attending Portland State University after 13 years in the manufacturing industry and several stints of night school at Portland Community College. TRIO Student Support Services has helped me find my passions for accounting as well as first generation student educational and professional access. The TRIO programs were not new to me. I learned about TRIO Upward Bound during high school after it was already too late for me to enter the program. I was devastated to lose out on those resources back then so when I learned about TRIO at Portland State, I applied and registered for the Transfer Bridge program. This program assists low income, first generation incoming transfer students transition from a community college setting to navigating university life and culture. In my first year, I had many needs as an exploratory major, where many commuting students may struggle with developing strong social connections on campus. Being in the Transfer Bridge program helped me build a community on campus before my first academic year even started. TRIO also offered me a home base as a commuter student without a school. While many exploratory students may struggle with what classes to consider, my TRIO adviser Andrea Griggs suggested classes, majors, and careers and she even connected me with a graduating TRIO student who was able to share much needed information! As a low income student, it was necessary for me to make it through school working minimally so I could fully focus on my studies. One of the other TRIO advisers, Rosalyn Taylor met with me several times to edit my scholarship essays. Her invaluable guidance led me to strongly communicate who I am and what my future plans will hold. My meetings with her were a great investment which resulted in earning two scholarships totaling $6,000! Upon graduating in June 2018, I will be launching into a career in public accounting which will enable me to help businesses grow, to travel internationally, and start saving in order to leave two TRIO inspired legacies, a scholarship fund for first generation, low income students as well as a program to address cultural capital gaps that working class students face when entering professional careers.