Student Support Services

TRIO-Student Support Services: FAQs

"Student Support Services became my home away from home. The people made the difference . . . with their constant support I had the motivation to succeed. I was the first in my family to attend college, so they helped with everything . . . research papers, the computer lab, tutoring; then picking grad schools, applying for financial aid, and applying for jobs."
Rosemarie Fabrizzio '11
Rosemarie Fabrizzio


What is TRIO and what does it stand for?

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. TRIO is not an acronym; it refers to the number three, the original number of U.S. federal programs created to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. TRIO’s existence is owed to the passing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

What is the purpose and goal of TRIO-SSS?

TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that provides free academic, career, personal, social, and technological assistance and support to eligible college students. The purpose of the program is to increase retention, graduation, and transfer rates by providing coordination of various educational support services. We help eligible participants adjust to college life, achieve academic success, graduate, and move on to become contributing members of society.

Why should I join TRIO-SSS? 

TRIO-SSS has been helping students at GCU for over 20 years. Statistics show that the program really works.
We offer:

  • FREE individualized tutoring 
  • Walk-in writing lab 
  • Peer tutoring 
  • Graduation planning 
  • Limited financial assistance for Federal Pell Grant-eligible students with documented need 
  • Student advocacy 
  • Workshops on topics such as time management, study and test-taking skills, writing, and life skills 
  • Assignment to a TRIO-SSS staff member to help coordinate student resources and support

What will the TRIO-SSS program do for me? 

  • Throughout the country over 20,000 students are involved in TRIO-SSS programs at 800 college campuses. You have an opportunity to be one of 160 students selected for participation in GCU's program. 
  • Our experienced staff will guide you, one-to-one, through the collegiate process until your graduation.
  • You will be given the resources you need to successfully compete in an academic environment. 
  • Our services are targeted to your individual needs. We are geared toward guiding students with varying talents, skills, and abilities. 
  • Our services are comprehensive. Services range from skills-based instruction and tutoring to graduate school guidance. 
  • Our program offers you the ability to manage your interests, acquire additional opportunities, and take advantage of resources that meet your career goals.

If I join TRIO-SSS, what am I required to do?

Our students are expected to have frequent contact with the program (a minimum of seven contacts each semester) and are expected to take full advantage of program services. The more our students are involved with the program, the more benefits they receive.

How much of my time will this take? 

That is up to you. Our program services are flexible and can be scheduled on an individual basis. Our staff members are also available via phone, e-mail, or office visit.

Does it cost me anything to join the program?

Services are FREE to program participants thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and support from GCU.

How do I apply to the TRIO-SSS Program?

Students may apply in person. Stop by the TRiO-SSS Office in the Casino (across from the Library). Complete the application (assistance is provided if needed) and submit to the secretary.

Why does TRIO-SSS ask for personal information? 

TRIO-SSS respects your privacy. The project only collects, stores, and uses your personal information for defined purposes set by the U.S. Department of Education. The information is used to support and enhance your individual services, and share GCU resources and announcements with you. The information is encrypted and maintained on the GCU server. TRIO-SSS shares personal data with the U.S. Department of Education in the form of an annual report. You may contact TRIO-SSS at any time with any privacy questions or concerns.

The information required for the TRIO-SSS Annual Report includes personally identifiable information such as social security numbers (SSN), name, date of birth, as well as information on each student's eligibility for services and each student's academic progress. TRIO-SSS only uses your personal information for purposes related to federal regulations and GCU policies.

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law No. 93-579, 5 U.S.C. 552a), the U.S. Department of Education is authorized to collect information to implement the Student Support Services program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Pub. Law 102-325, Sec. 402D). In accordance with the authority, the DOE receives and maintains personal information on participants in the TRIO-SSS program. The principle purpose for collecting this information is to administer the program, including tracking and evaluating participant progress.

If I apply to TRIO-SSS Program, am I automatically in?

No. You will be officially notified of your acceptance or denial by the director of TRIO-SSS via mail and your GCU e-mail address provided on the application.

I have been accepted into the TRIO-SSS program at GCU. What do I do next?

The first thing to do is to meet with a TRIO-SSS staff member to complete the acceptance process within two weeks of notification. Students are not participants in the program until they sign their TRIO-SSS contract with a TRIO-SSS staff member. TRIO-SSS strongly encourages students to be as active in the program as possible. Students who stay in close contact with TRIO-SSS staff members tend to feel more connected and do better academically. Students must renew with a TRIO-SSS staff member each semester until graduation.

Can TRIO-SSS help offset college costs?

TRIO-SSS does have a limited amount of grant aid available to Pell-eligible students. Priority for this aid is given to freshman and sophomore students. TRIO-SSS also helps students apply for scholarships.

What are the requirements for grant aid?

Applicants must be an active TRIO-SSS participant, a full-time student, have a GPA of 2.3 or better, and be in Good Academic Standing with GCU. Students must be receiving a Pell grant for the current academic year with an unmet financial need. Applicants must submit a 500-word typed essay. Late applications will be given secondary consideration. Priority for grant aid is given to freshman and sophomore students. Juniors and seniors may also be eligible for grant aid if the needs of eligible first- and second-year students have been met.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

All TRIO-SSS staff members are available to answer your questions. You may call us at 732.987.2610 or stop by our office in the Casino (directly across from the library).


The TRIO-Student Support Services Program at Georgian Court University is a federally funded five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $284,754 for the 2014-2015 year.  

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