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What is TRIO?
TRIO is Educational Opportunity for Low-income and Disabled Americans

Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance.

In support of this commitment, Congress established a series of programs to help lowincome Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These Programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs (initially just three programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Who is Served
As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes under $24,000, where neither parent graduated from college. Over 1,900 TRIO Programs currently serve nearly 700,000 low-income Americans between the ages of 11 and 27. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-nine percent of TRIO students are White, 36 percent are African-American, 16 percent are Hispanic, 5 percent are Native American and 4 percent are Asian-American. Sixteen thousand TRIO students are disabled.

Council for Opportunity in Education, or the Council (formerly NCEOA)
The Council for Opportunity in Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in 1981, which represents institutions of higher education, administrators, counselors and teachers who are committed to advancing equal educational opportunity and to promoting diversity in America's colleges and universities.

The Council's principal concern is sustaining and improving educational opportunity program services. The majority of educational opportunity programs are the federally funded TRIO programs, which currently operate in over 1,200 postsecondary institutions and more than 100 community agencies.

Visit the Council's web site for more information about its legislative agenda and TRIO programs nationwide. Also visit The United States Department of Education which provides funding for TRIO programs.

Milestones of TRIO History
Click here to read part 1 of "Milestones of TRIO History" by John Groutt.