TRIO Student Support Services


Contact Information
Office Hours

M-F, 8 AM to 4:30 PM

The mission of Bloomsburg University's TRIO Student Support Services is to contribute to the success of students in pursuit of their educational career and life goals.

TRIO SSS’s mission is to help under-represented students persist in college and earn their degree. The office offers one-on-one holistic support to help students manage their academic and social transitions during their time in college.

The TRIO SSS program is committed to increasing retention and graduation through:

  • Personalized supportive, proficient and accessible program services and staff
  • Quality advising, tutoring, mentoring, teaching and advocacy
  • Acknowledgement and appreciation for individual diversity and resilience

In August of 2020, the Bloomsburg University TRIO Student Support Services office was awarded a $319,609, five-year grant from the United States Department of Education to provide opportunities for first generation college students, Pell-eligible students, and/or students with a documented disability.

The grant will allow BU’s TRIO office to continue to provide individualized support for academic advisement, personal and professional development, assistance navigating higher education financing, as well as academic tutoring with master tutors in English, Communication Studies, Math, Sciences, Social Sciences, Spanish, and more.

This grant will continue the tradition of the TRIO programs started by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964; Student Support Services was added to the group of TRIO programs in 1968. TRIO SSS has provided academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other necessary support to Bloomsburg students since coming to BU in fall 1997.

How to Apply

To apply for TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program enrollment consideration, please contact the office at 570-389-3606 or stop by TRIO SSS, located in Warren Student Services, Suite 268.

Students who meet the eligibility requirements established by the US Department of Education will be contacted to schedule an appointment with the program director to learn more about our TRIO SSS services and the enrollment process. Thank you for your interest in learning more about TRIO SSS. If you have any questions about the application or program, please email

What is TRIO?

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. Over 790,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.


How TRIO Works

More than 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO programs in America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. TRiO funds are distributed to institutions through competitive grants.

TRIO Student Support Services projects work to enable first-generation, socio-economically disadvantaged, and/or disabled students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants receive tutoring, counseling, academic advisement, and remedial instruction. Students are now being served at 947 colleges and universities nationwide. On average, students enrolled in the program experience higher GPA’s and higher retention and graduation rates.

TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America. (Previously only college financing had been on policymakers' radar.) TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Then, in 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, another program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students (later known as Student Support Services), was launched in 1968. Together, this “trio” of federally-funded programs encouraged access to higher education for low-income students. By 1998, the TRIO programs had become a vital pipeline to opportunity, serving traditional students, displaced workers, and veterans. The original three programs had grown to eight, adding Educational Opportunity Centers in 1972, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs in 1976, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program in 1986, Upward Bound Math/Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.

As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families at 150% or less of the federal poverty level, where neither parent graduated from college. More than 2,850 TRIO projects currently serve more than 790,000 low-income Americans. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-five percent of TRiO students are Whites, 35% are African-Americans, 19% are Hispanics, 4% are Native Americans, 3% are Asian-Americans, and 4% are listed as "Other," including multiracial students. Seven thousand students with disabilities and more than 6,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRiO Programs as well.

The United States needs to boost both its academic and economic competitiveness globally.

In order to foster and maintain a healthy economy as well as compete globally, the United States needs a strong, highly-educated, and competent workforce. To be on par with other nations, the country needs students, no matter their background, who are academically prepared and motivated to achieve success.

Low-income students are being left behind.

Only 38% of low-income high school 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 a rate that is less than half of that of their high-income peers — 21% as compared with 45%.

The growing achievement gap in our country is detrimental to our success as a nation.

There is a tremendous gap in educational attainment between America's highest and lowest income students - despite similar talents and potential. While there are numerous talented and worthy low-income students, relatively few are represented in higher education, particularly at America's more selective four-year colleges and universities. While nearly 67% of high-income, highly-qualified students enroll in four-year colleges, only 47% of low-income, highly-qualified students enroll. Even more startling, 77% of the least-qualified, high-income students go on to college, while roughly the same proportion of the most-qualified low-income students that go on to college. (ACSFA 2005)

TRIO SSS Programs

TRIO SSS recognizes the need for transitional programs for college students. These programs focus on supporting and advancing efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education. This mission is achieved by providing students with appropriate advisement, scheduling of coursework, mentoring, financial aid counseling, and workshops that relate to where the student is in their academic career. These programs are research-based opportunities to engage students in their process of learning and development.

This program assists newly enrolled TRIO SSS students to make a successful transition to college both academically and personally. TRIO SSS staff work to empower first-year students through a holistic approach to advisement and mentoring by assessing and strengthening both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Students attend workshops and weekly/bi-weekly meetings depending on student needs. The staff offers comprehensive programming to enhance students' transition to, connection with, and understanding of the BU community.

Strong evidence exists showing that sophomore students face serious challenges that are often overlooked. TRIO SSS staff understand that the second-year experience is unique and challenging for many students and seek to provide strategies to assist this group of students to find appropriate, achievable majors and connections to the BU community, to understand how healthy behaviors impact all aspects of life, and to investigate leadership opportunities and a life purpose.

TRIO SSS staff work to encourage junior students to take full advantage of their academic "home" by encouraging them to become involved in their major's clubs and organizations. The staff continues to work with students on how to manage their time more efficiently as their major courses become more demanding. Students write resumes and look for internships with the guidance of the TRIO SSS staff, and attend workshops on professional behaviors and other pertinent topics presented by TRIO SSS staff.

This program is an intellectual capstone experience for senior students which involves participation in focus groups and panel discussions. TRIO SSS staff support senior students as they deal with the transition stress of leaving college and seeking graduate school enrollment or employment. The staff assists seniors with resume writing, internship placement and job seeking.

This program creates a bridge between students' institutional experiences. TRIO SSS staff work diligently with each individual transfer student to enhance their success at BU through the facilitation of a smooth transition for major choice, course scheduling, and connection to BU resources and programs. TRIO SSS staff understand the uniqueness of this population of students. The staff aids in the simplification of the financial aid system. Research proposes that many transfer students see a drop in their GPA during their first year from the college where they attended to their present institution. Tutoring, mentoring and individualized advisement helps these students reach their academic goals.