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TRIO Programs for Low-Income and Disabled Americans

The TRIO program at Oakland City University provides educational opportunity for low-income and disabled Americans.


The U.S. is committed to providing educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance.

The U.S. congress has created programs to help low-income Americans enter and graduate from college and participate more fully in America's economic and social life.

These programs are called TRIO programs. They are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. There are more than 2,700 TRIO programs.

TRIO programs are different from student financial aid programs. Student financial aid programs help students overcome financial obstacles. TRIO programs help students overcome barriers of class, society, and culture.

Who is Served

Two out of every three students served by the TRIO program come from families with incomes under $24,000, in which neither parent graduated from college.

The TRIO program serves…

  • Nearly 873,000 low-income Americans
  • 16,000 students with disabilities
  • More than 25,000 U.S. veterans
  • Many students in grades 6 through 12
  • 37% Whites, 35% African-Americans, 19% Hispanics, 4% Native Americans, 4% Asian-Americans, 1% Other (including multi-racial students)

More race and ethnicity information is available. Contact us.

Participating Institutions

More than 1,200 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies in America offer TRIO programs. Those institutions compete for government grants for TRIO programs.

Positive Results

  • TRIO has helped a significant number of Black and Hispanic students enter college. Almost 20% of Black and Hispanic students entering college in 1981 did so through the TRIO Talent Search or EOC programs.
  • Students in the TRIO Student Support Services program are more than twice as likely to stay in college as students from similar backgrounds who do not participate in the program.
  • Students in the TRIO Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than students from similar backgrounds who do not participate in program.

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