About TRiO

Federal TRIO Programs

TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide college opportunities that motivate and support participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs: Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, Student Support Services (SSS), Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, Veterans Upward Bound and TRIO Training Programs. These Programs are designed to serve first generation college students, individuals who meet federal income guidelines and individuals with disabilities. Selected participants progress through the academic “pipeline” from sixth grade to post-baccalaureate programs.

TRIO programs provide direct academic support services for students and relevant training for directors and staff. Approximately 2800 TRIO Programs, nationwide provide services to nearly 873,000 participants. Texas alone is currently funded to host 194 TRIO programs, serving 58,403 students.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO website.


TRIO at TCU

In 1969, Upward Bound was the first TRIO Program on the TCU campus. This Program is funded to serve 110 students who are selected from seven high schools within the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD). The target schools are as follows: Diamond-Hill Jarvis High School, O.D. Wyatt, Polytechnic, Trimble Tech, Dunbar, Paschal and South Hills High Schools. TCU also hosts two additional TRIO Programs – the Student Support Services Program which serves 160 TCU undergraduates and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program which serves 28 juniors and seniors who wish to pursue doctoral degrees.

All of the TCU TRIO Programs allow students the opportunity to excel with important tools for success, including:

  • Academic tutoring
  • Advisement
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Community outreach
  • Leadership development
  • Research skills
  • Financial guidance/ literacy
  • Internships and networking
  • Other supportive services necessary for educational access and retention

Why are TRIO Programs Important?

Lesser-income and first generation students are being left behind. Only 38% of lesser-income high schools seniors go straight to college as compared to 81% of their peers in the highest income quartile. Then, once enrolled in college low-income students earn bachelor’s degrees at rates less than half that of their high income peers – 21% as compared to 45%. Oftentimes, first generation student even though, college ready, may not be prepared to navigate the college system. TCU TRIO Programs assists student successfully navigate the college/university system and to graduate with a bachelor’s or advanced degree.