TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO SSS Potential Participants

About TRIO Student Support Services

Referred to as the TRIO program or the TRIO SSS    program, TRIO Student Support Services is a long-established, selective-admissions academic success program funded through a competitive grant from the   U. S. Department of Education.

Since 1979, TRIO SSS at the University of Montevallo has had a significant impact on retention rates of its target population. TRIO SSS provides a select group of students with comprehensive academic and professional services and resources that result in high academic performance, persistence in college through to graduation, and a successful entry into their chosen career or graduate/professional school program. While participation is voluntary and free of charge, it is based on eligibility, selection, and active participation in recommended or required activities.

Who are our participants?

They are a reflection of the UM community! They represent every academic department and major on campus. They are athletes and Honors Program students, Purples and Golds. And they represent a widely diverse population: race/ethnicity, age, gender identity, traditional and non-traditional (married, parents, etc.), and U.S. veterans.

Applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment at UM be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency and meet the requirements for federal student financial assistance; demonstrate academic need; and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Neither parent graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college/university
  2. Meet government income guidelines based on taxable income * (currently $36,450 for a household of 4)
  3. Have a documented physical, medical, psychological, or learning disability


Congratulations on taking a positive step toward your future. This page is for students who received a mailing from TRIO Student Support Services or any student who desires to learn more about TRIO.

For 38 years we have guided, mentored, and motivated TRIO SSS participants toward their graduation day and with post-graduate plans. We take the “Support” part of our name very seriously. In addition to our comprehensive services and resources, TRIO SSS also promotes students’ independence and leadership skills development.

An important and unique aspect of TRIO SSS is that it provides a consistent and ongoing support system that program participants can depend upon throughout their time here at UM; and they may participate throughout their enrollment at UM.

In the Study Center/Computer Lab, participants can find a quiet place to study, draft papers, borrow books, meet with their assigned Peer Coach, speak with a TRIO SSS adviser, or just take a break between classes! You don’t have to take our word for it. See what your fellow students say about TRIO SSS!



All students have an assigned major adviser; but for TRIO SSS participants our professional staff also provides advising to help supplement and reinforce the adviser’s information, such as registration procedures, making wise choices in selecting courses, and meeting various academic deadlines.

At the heart of the TRIO SSS Program is the commitment to increasing the graduation and retention rates of our participants. Consequently, our advising services goes beyond the academic. The TRIO SSS advisers fully understand the non-academic challenges that may serve as significant barriers to their academic progress. We work with our students holistically, dealing with all areas of the college experience by providing participants with direct support or identifying the best resources available. The staff are committed to working with students in areas that include but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring academic progress
  • Strategies for maintaining and improving GPA
  • Help with study skills and learning strategies
  • Assistance with any concerns that have the potential to place you in academic jeopardy
  • Social, professional, and emotional skills
  • Academic behaviors and attitudes
  • Healthy discussions about stress, anxiety, and personal development
  • Being your biggest and loudest supporters for all of your accomplishments
Career/Graduate School Preparation

TRIO SSS strives to help participants set and fulfill their career goals. Along the way we strongly encourage activities such as undergraduate research, off-campus study programs and internships, and applying to a graduate or professional school program. Through these activities, we believe that our participants learn more about themselves, develop skills, and identify the various resources to pursue their professional and academic objectives.

  • Exploring career options
  • Understanding your career personality
  • Creating a résumé
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Exploring the graduate school application process and finding funding
Financial Aid Advising and Money Management

An informed borrower is less likely to misuse financial aid, particularly loans, and is a better student because of it. TRIO SSS provides participants opportunities to learn about all of the financial aid options, their responsibilities in repayment, and locating other resources to pay for college. Additionally, we assist our participants in completing their financial aid applications (FAFSA) in a timely manner, through group information sessions, individual sessions and referrals.

Along with understanding financial aid, financial literacy is an important aspect of students’ education.  We offer a two-part workshop each semester that include:

  • Budgeting and goal setting
  • Balance sheet & income statements
  • Cash management and financial institutions
  • Purchasing strategies and credit cards
  • Consumer loans and credit management
Success Seminars & Workshops

TRIO SSS offers a variety of seminars, workshops, and other group sessions that address topics such as: career discovery, effective communication, healthy living, résumé building, stress and time management, study skills, library research, test anxiety, and graduate school planning. Other group sessions may be designed depending on the needs of participants.

Participants are expected to attend at least one program-sponsored seminar/workshop each semester. Those unable to attend in-person workshops due to scheduling conflicts can still get credit by viewing them online in Canvas and completing the activity sheet.

Apply to TRIO SSS