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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 12, 2016

Northwest TRIO programs to host National TRIO Day celebration

About TRIO

What is TRIO?

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college–based educational opportunity outreach programs that motivate and support students from low-income backgrounds – including military veterans and students with disabilities. Currently serving nearly 760,000 students from middle school through post-graduate study, TRIO provides academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and other supports necessary to promote college access, retention and graduation. TRIO students come from families that earn less than $36,000 a year or in which neither parent has earned a college degree.

Where did TRIO come from?

TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America. 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. In 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, 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 have 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 and Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.

Why are TRIO programs important?

TRIO programs help first-generation, low-income students overcome social, cultural and academic barriers to succeed in higher education. By providing direct services and individually focused and intensive programming geared toward helping students navigate the college admissions and financial aid process, TRIO programs assist students in overcoming the obstacles they face as the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. Today, an estimated 5 million students have graduated from college with the support and assistance of TRIO programs across the country.

Students and graduates of Northwest Missouri State University TRIO programs will participate in the 2016 National TRIO Day of Service to express appreciation to the community for its support of the TRIO programs.

Northwest’s National TRIO Day Celebration will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in The Station. Registration begins at 5:15 p.m. with light refreshments. The event celebrates TRIO Hall of Famers, current participants and alumni.

TRIO is a federally recognized educational outreach program designed for students with disadvantaged backgrounds. It serves as an umbrella organization for Northwest programs consisting of Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science.

Additionally, the TRIO Day is a national day of service, and community members are encouraged to assist Northwest TRIO programs in supporting the Nodaway County Humane Society. Donations should be left in the Northwest TRIO office, located in Room 372 of the Administration Building, or in one of the yellow bins on the first floor of the Administration Building by 10 a.m. Feb. 26. The following items are needed:

After breakout sessions, Northwest TRIO will honor its first inductees to its TRIO Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are Andrew Schmidt, a senior at Maryville High School and Upward Bound participant; Tyra Penton, a senior at Bedford (Iowa) High School and Upward Bound Math and Science participant; and Alicia Johnson, a Northwest student, participant and mentor with Student Support Services.

For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, seven federally funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference.

Unlike student financial aid programs that help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs have been providing valuable, supportive services to students from poor and working families to successfully enter college and graduate for more than 50 years.

Serving more than 300 participants each year, Northwest TRIO is proud of its programs, the success of its students, and the support and encouragement it receives. Since 1986, Northwest TRIO programs have promoted educational opportunities while assisting students in their personal journey of earning a higher education degree. The partnerships TRIO has within the Northwest campus community assist in addressing the unique needs of academically capable individuals who are first-generation students and come from families with limited income.

“Upward Bound means everything to me,” said Lucas Raymond, an Upward Bound alumnus who is attending University of Central Missouri and studying music education. “The experiences I've had and the friends I've made have and will shape my life for the better, forever. Upward Bound teaches you to never give up, jump at opportunities and shoot for the stars. Upward Bound will forever hold a special place in my heart.”  

TRIO creates environments that inspire engaged learning, motivates continuing education and supports lifelong learning. TRIO offers a comprehensive set of services through three different programs, each targeted at a specific group of individuals from ninth grade through adulthood. Services and activities include academic tutoring, cultural enrichment, financial assistance counseling, summer on-campus residential programs, admissions counseling, instructional assistance and student mentoring.

“Upward Bound helped me get out of my shell and has helped me become who I am today," said Andrea Muller, an Upward Bound alumna and Northwest psychology major.

Brandon Heck, an Upward Bound alumnus and software engineer at Cerner, added, “Upward Bound helped me open doors that I didn’t even realize were there.”

Today, more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and community agencies host more than 2,800 TRIO projects that serve about 760,000 young people and adults. Thirty-five percent of TRIO students are white, 35 percent are African-American, 19 percent are Hispanic, 4 percent are American Indian, 3 percent are Asian-American, and 4 percent are listed as “other,” including multiracial students. Seven thousand TRIO students have disabilities.

For more information about the TRIO programs at Northwest, contact Tanya Riley, coordinator of counseling for Upward Bound, at 660.562.1647 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468