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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 22, 2017

Northwest TRIO programs to host National TRIO Day celebration

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.  


How did TRIO begin?

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 alumni of Northwest Missouri State University TRIO programs will celebrate 30 years of success and express appreciation to the University and community during the 2017 National TRIO Day of Service.

Northwest’s National TRIO Day Celebration will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the B.D. Owens Library on the University campus. Light refreshments will be served at the event, which celebrates TRIO Hall of Famers, current participants and alumni. Breakout sessions also will address topics of cultural diversity, financial assistance and professionalism.

Additionally, TRIO is encouraging support of Northwest’s Pay It Forward Food Pantry, which assists Northwest students and employees experiencing food insecurities. Community members are invited to donate boxed macaroni and cheese, boxed dinners, crackers or snack foods, or personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste by bringing those items to the TRIO office in Room 372 of the Administration Building or to the TRIO Day celebration.

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.

Unlike student financial aid programs that help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs provide valuable, supportive services to students from poor and working families to successfully enter college and earn degrees.

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 with addressing the unique needs of academically capable individuals who are first-generation students and come from families with limited income.

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.

For more information about the TRIO programs at Northwest, visit, or contact the TRIO office at 660.562.1862 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