TRiO Programs

Beginning as a part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, the Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Since Upward Bound’s inception, TRIO has expanded to include a number of other programs that serve various populations of students.


All of these program are federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree.


More than 800,000 working class, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by over 3,100 programs nationally.


TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.​


See below or click the button below to see the descriptions of each TRiO Program.

Talent Search Programs


Talent Search projects serve young people in grades six through 12. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps youth from low-income families to better understand their educational opportunities and options. More than 312,000 students are enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO projects. According to the more recent data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of Talent Search participants enrolled in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. Currently, there are four Talent Search Programs in the state of South Carolina.

Upward Bound Programs


Upward Bound (UB) is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. Campus-based UB programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer. UB also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid, and scholarship forms. More than 70,000 students are being served by 956 Upward Bound projects. Recent analysis from the U.S. Department of Education showed that 86 percent of Upward Bound students in the 2013–14 high school graduation cohort enrolled immediately in college following high school graduation. South Carolina currently hosts 15 Upward Bound Programs.

Upward Bound Math/Science Programs


Using a similar model to Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science provides students with a rigorous math and science curriculum in high school to encourage and enable them to successfully major in critically important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines in college. Currently, there are 211 projects serving more than 13,100 students. Indeed, 70% of Upward Bound Math-Science programs have postsecondary enrollments of 80% or higher. There are two Upward Bound Math Science Programs in the state of South Carolina.

Veterans Upward Bound


Veterans Upward Bound provides intensive basic skills development and short-term preparatory courses for military veterans to help them successfully transition to postsecondary education. There are two Veteran Upward Bound Programs in the state of South Carolina.

Student Support Services


Student Support Services projects work to enable low-income students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants, who include disabled college students, receive tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction. More than 202,000 students are now being served by 1,069 Student Support Service programs at colleges and universities nationwide. Recent studies of Student Support Services found that program participation resulted in statistically significant higher rates of student retention and transfer, improved grade point averages, and credit accumulation. Program participants also bested their similarly situated peers in degree completion at both two-year colleges (41% vs. 28%) and four-year colleges (48% vs. 40%). The organization currently services 27 Student Support Services Programs to include an SSS-Veterans Program and an SSS-STEM Program.

Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Programs


The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program is designed to encourage low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study. Students who participate in this program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors. This program was named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion. Currently, there are 187 projects, serving more than 5,200 students. According to recent performance data, in 2013-14, 69% of McNair participants who graduated in 2010-11 were enrolled in graduate school; meanwhile, 83% of students who first enrolled in graduate school in 2012-2013 persisted in their studies. South Carolina currently hosts two Ronald E. McNair programs.

Educational Opportunity Centers


Educational Opportunity Centers located throughout the country primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families. These Centers help individuals to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. There are 142 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 199,000 individuals. Recent analysis of performance data of the Educational Opportunity Centers found that more than half (57.6%) of "college-ready" students enrolled in institutions of higher learning and 71% of eligible EOC participants (high school seniors, postsecondary dropouts, etc.) applied to college. There are currently four EOC programs that serve adults across the state.

For more information, feel free to contact SC TRiO by clicking the button below and completing the contact form.