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March 30, 2022

TRIO Student Support Services accepting new students

Program supports first-generation, income-qualified and students with disabilities

Michigan State University’s TRIO Student Support Services, a vital program that supports Spartan students through graduation, is seeking new students. TRIO is a grant-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education and part of the Federal TRIO Programs, Student Support Services. It is the largest and most expansive national program promoting college success for first-generation, income-qualified students and students with disabilities.

TRIO strives to help students maintain good academic standing, develop personal, academic and career goals and understand financial literacy. The program provides academic tutoring, personal coaching and other supports necessary for students to persist and ultimately graduate from college, serving up to 600 students each academic year.

What are the requirements to be a TRIO student?

TRIO students must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as either a first-generation college student (one or both parents did not complete a four-year degree), an income-qualified student, and/or have a reported disability.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Undergraduate students of all majors and class levels including incoming MSU first-year and transfer students.
  • Agree to actively participate in TRIO services and use the support resources provided.
TRIO adviser and student meeting at a desk
Program adviser Felicia McAllister and TRIO student.

What are the benefits of being a TRIO student?

There are many benefits to becoming a TRIO student. TRIO students receive dedicated academic support services, including academic advising, free tutoring services and free printing in the TRIO-only tutoring center located in 215 Bessey Hall. Professional and career development activities, including graduate school support, are provided to all students. TRIO students can also take advantage of free programming events, including cultural field trips, leadership conferences as well as scholarship funding for active participants who demonstrate financial need.

Sparty holding a TRIO shirt
Sparty is a big supporter of the TRIO program.

How can students join the program?

Complete a TRIO application, found on the TRIO website. Or, students can also stop by their office in 209 Bessey Hall to complete an application with a TRIO staff member.

How can MSU partners get involved and support?

MSU faculty, staff and other campus partners can help by spreading the word and encouraging students to join. The program welcomes recommendations for students to join the program and to work for the program as a peer tutor or peer coach. Contact TRIO SSS staff today to get connected to events, presentation opportunities and other mentorship opportunities at

Keep in touch

There are many ways to keep in touch with MSU’s TRIO SSS Program. Follow them on Instagram @msutrio. Visit the website or stop by the TRIO Suite Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Bessey Hall Room 209. The team is happy to share all the great things they’re doing to support first-gen students at MSU. Check out feedback from two TRIO students and student employees about their experience in the program.

Three people working at a desk together
A TRIO SSS tutor works with students in the program.

Walter Kearney II

What is your major/ minor and class standing?

Accounting, sophomore

How has TRIO supported you in your academic studies, personal wellness, or financially?

“TRIO has supported me in my academic studies, personal wellness and financially. As a TRIO student, I have been able to meet with my advisers on what classes to take for my major so that I am able to graduate on time. TRIO has been like another family to me, and I am beyond appreciative of their love and support throughout the years. The resources that TRIO provides has been very influential to my success here at MSU. Also, the grant aid support that they provide has helped me continue my education here at MSU.”

Why should students apply to become a TRIO student?

“Students should apply to TRIO because they will have a huge amount of support throughout their years at MSU. As a TRIO student, I have access to numerous opportunities like program grants, academic advising, individualized tutoring, cultural programming, graduate prep, job opportunities and more. I am also a TRIO tutor and get to individually help other TRIO students in courses like STT 200 and MTH 103. I love being a tutor because I want to be able to give back to other students like me.

Also, when you are a tutor, you will be able to work as many hours as you can based on program need and your availability with great pay. That just shows how flexible TRIO is because they understand that you are still a student first. TRIO has been a major blessing in my life and pushes you into the direction of greater success because they want to always support your academic and personal endeavors. So, you will never be out of a job, have bad grades, have a low amount of support, etc. Anything you need, TRIO helps to provide or connect you to the resources.”

Donny Hernandez

What is your major/ minor and academic standing?

Major: Applied engineering sciences (supply chain concentration), senior

How has TRIO supported you in your academic studies, personal wellness, leadership opportunities, financially or other?

“TRIO has helped me a lot, but I think what they helped me with the most was financial aid. Being a first-gen student, we don’t really have a lot of financial literacy knowledge. I personally had a hard time completing the FAFSA my first few years I had to fill it out. Although struggling, TRIO has been able to assist me by helping complete my financial aid. Without their help, I probably wouldn’t have completed it, which also means I probably wouldn't be here at Michigan State, let alone college.”

“Another way TRIO has helped me is by giving me an early experience with college. Specifically, the summer Excel program that they offer to incoming students. I was able to understand the college-feel before my freshman year even started (having classes, living on campus, group-activities). So, in general, I’d say they helped me out a lot, whether it be financially, navigating campus, or just helping me out whenever I needed it most. TRIO has always been a reliable resource.”

“You get a lot of support — more than you realize. You can get free one-on-one tutoring, get a personal coach to guide you through your academic career, can get free printing (you’d think you could get free printing in the library) and so much more. I always tell people to apply because you’ll never know when you need the help. Even if you don’t need the services they offer, it is still nice to know that you have access to the services TRIO has to offer — in other words, TRIO will have your back when you need help. Having a little extra support is always good, especially when you’re the first in your family to attend college.”

(Top image TRIO professional staff members pictured left to right. Front row: Felicia McAllister, Ariel Arnold, Christina Bridges, Emily Abrams. Back row: Martell Summers, Ira Washington and Perry Fittrer)


By: Ariel Arnold and Christina Bridges