TRiO for student success    

Navigating college can be a scary, bewildering experience especially for first-generation students and those who rely on financial aid.
Fortunately for them, there’s TRiO Student Support Services, a federally-funded program that helps qualifying students stay on track and guides them to the people and information they need for success.
The program was created in the 1960s as part of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. It’s been at PSU since the 1970s.
Portland State has four different TRiO programs – two of which work with students who are thinking about college, one that works with students who want to earn a Ph.D., and Student Support Services (SSS), which helps the general undergraduate population.

“You apply, you get in, you’re with us until you graduate.”


Linda Liu

Director, TRIO Student Support Services


“Much of what we do is establish relationships,” said Linda Liu, program director for TRiO Student Support Services. “For example, most of our students rely on financial aid, so for them, if there’s a hiccup in the financial aid office, everything stops. So we have a liaison in financial aid who we can turn to immediately if there’s a problem.”
Students who want to use TRiO Student Support Services must submit an application and must meet eligibility requirements.
Applications for the 2019-20 academic year will be available this month, so watch the website. The program is currently at capacity, but it does have a waiting list to which you can add your name.
Incoming freshmen accepted to TRiO Student Support Services will be able to take part in the program’s Summer Bridge program, which helps students get everything together for the start of school.
After that, they have access to TRiO every year they’re in school. Needs are different for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. TRiO counselors know that, and will guide students through those changing needs.
“You apply, you get in, you’re with us until you graduate,” Liu said.


Story by John Kirkland
Video and homepage photo by Spencer Rutledge

Homepage photo: Health Sciences pre-med student Katrina Dejeu studying a the TRiO center, 4th floor SMSU.