What is TRIO?

TRIO programs grew out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, and specifically the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965. The federally funded programs provide access to higher education, and educational equality and opportunity, to students from low-income backgrounds and those who are first-generation to college. The first TRIO program was Upward Bound, followed closely by Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services; hence, the term TRIO. Currently, there are eight TRIO programs, including the original three, serving close to 1 million low-income, first-generation high school and college students in the United States and Puerto Rico; Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, Upward Bound Math Science, Veterans Upward Bound, and TRIO Training. TRIO’s 50 year proven track record of student success remains strong.

Need for TRIO in CT

Connecticut has one of the largest achievement gaps in the country. Connecticut is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest and poorest towns and cities. This income disparity is apparent in the public school system, with poor cities and towns having some of the lowest performing schools in the nation. TRIO helps to level the playing field for students in these schools by offering intensive academic support and preparation for admission to and success in post-secondary education.

TRIO Programs in CT

TRIO serves over 6,000 low-income, first-generation students in 21 programs at 18 institutions in Connecticut. The majority of Connecticut’s TRIO students reside in the state’s urban areas.


Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) primarily serve veterans and displaced or underemployed workers from low-income backgrounds. (10 CT community colleges)

Educational Talent Search (ETS) assists low-income students in grades 6-12 with high school completion and college preparation. (Central Connecticut State University)

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair) prepares low-income, first-generation and minority undergraduates for doctoral study. (University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University)

Student Support Services (SSS) provides academic support, programming, and one-on-one counseling to first-generation, low-income students with the goal of their retention and graduation from college. (Fairfield University, Manchester Community College, Norwalk Community College, University of Bridgeport, University of Connecticut)

Upward Bound/Upward Bound Math Science (UB/UBMS) prepares low-income, first-generation youth for high school graduation and post-secondary education through academic support and programming. (Fairfield University, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Sacred Heart University, Stamford Public Schools, Wesleyan University, Western CT State University)