The University of South Carolina TRIO Programs


We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.

- Barack Obama

Within student services, it is widely understood that financial aid alone is not enough to support the educational success of students from poor and working class families. Just as the benefits of a college education cannot be measured in financial terms alone, the price of achieving this goal extends well beyond mere dollars and cents. Educational opportunities for low-income and potential first-generation college students not only require financial commitments, but also personal involvement, attention to detail, careful planning, and appropriate knowledge.

For low-income and first-generation college students, TRIO Programs are the personal attention, planning, and knowledge that help strengthen our national and state investments in financial aid. They provide information, service, and guidance that help low-income and potential first-generation college students to manage their financial constraints, strengthen their academic skills, adjust to the environment and culture of the college campus, and set viable goals that lead to graduation and responsible participation in society.

The Federal TRIO Programs were created by the Higher Education Act of 1965 to help low-income Americans enter and graduate from college. Originally just three programs, TRIO has evolved into a network of seven programs and services that support students in middle school, high school, and college undergraduate programs. The University of South Carolina has sponsored TRIO Programs for the past 50 years through partnerships with area schools, community agencies, and various departments and offices on campus.

TRIO at U of South Carolina

Image 1 Upward BoundUSC has sponsored Upward Bound since 1966.The program provides intensive academic and personal support designed to motivate and prepare eligible students for college. Upward Bound serves at least 110 students from 4 high schools in Richland County. It offers a comprehensive set of services that helps participants to complete high school and enter post-secondary education without the need for remediation.
Image 2 Educational Talent SearchThe Educational Talent Search Program serves young people from eighth grade through college enrollment. Talent Search counselors work with students to encourage them to consider college, to ensure that they are enrolled in college preparatory high school courses, and to assist them in completing admissions and financial aid applications.
Image 3 Opportunity Scholars ProgramThe Opportunity Scholars Program (OSP) allows TRIO-eligible freshmen to initiate their college experience within an intentional learning community. Consisting of general education courses, support services, cultural enrichment, and academic guidance by a team of instructors and counselors, the OSP provides a small college environment specifically tailored to the needs of first-generation college students.

Image 4Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program

The goal of the TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is to increase the number of Ph.D. recipients from groups under-represented in graduate education. The program prepares TRIO-eligible students for doctoral study through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.