History of TRIO Programs

The TRIO Programs were originally established by the federal government in 1965 to ensure equal educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance. In many communities, the TRIO programs are some of the only programs available that help students to overcome the class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. The educational and human services offered through the TRIO Programs are distinguishable from all other counseling programs in America.

TRIO Programs are very effective and many students from low-income families depend on these programs to succeed academically in high school and college. In fact, since 1965 an estimated 2.2 million students have graduated from college with the special assistance and support of our nation’s TRIO programs. These programs enable students from low-income families to enter and graduate from college.

Students enrolled in today’s TRIO Programs mirror our nation’s multicultural and multiethnic society. 37% of TRIO students are White, 35% are African American, 19% are Hispanic, 4% are Native American, 4% are Asian American, and 1% are multiethnic. Twenty-two thousand TRIO students are disabled. There are more than 22,000 U.S. Veterans currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs. TRIO college graduates are working in business, industry, government, medicine, law, education, communications, sales, finance, politics, transportation, publishing, law enforcement, computer science and technology, engineering, and accounting.