MSU successfully competed in a highly competitive national competition for the 2015 – 2020 Student Support Services Program, and will be awarded a grant of $659,582 each year of the grant cycle from the U.S. Department of Education. This funding will allow Michigan State University to facilitate the continuance of an initiative that first received an award for a Special Services program in 1973, for approximately 200 students at a funding level of $89,000. For forty-two years the program has fostered the academic and professional development of over 20,000 students. The current award will allow the Student Support Services Program the opportunity to continue to provide academic and professional/career experiences, and resources participants may need as they navigate the process of acquiring an undergraduate degree.
“Whether it’s improving academic support services or increasing financial resources, this support from the Department of Education will bolster efforts to retain and graduate more students in Mid-Michigan,” U.S. Senator Gary Peters recently said in a press statement. “Higher education increases economic opportunity and provides a pathway to the middle class, and putting the dream of completing a higher education degree within reach for more Michigan students is critical.”
The five-year grant will fund academic assistance, career counseling, personal advising, and academic support, in addition to unique programming initiatives.
“Students who work hard and are accepted into college deserve every opportunity to succeed,” U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow recently said in a press statement. “Thanks to this funding, more college students across Mid-Michigan will get tutoring, financial aid counseling, and other support they need to finish school.”
In order to receive assistance from MSU’s TRIO Student Support Services Program, students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of post-secondary education at a grantee institution. Low-income students who are first-generation college students and students with disabilities showing academic need are eligible to receive services from TRIO Student Support Services.
“The Student Support Services (SSS) Program is designed for students who have the potential to achieve and maintain high levels of academic excellence,” Aurles Wiggins, director of MSU’s TRIO Student Support Services Program, said. “Through this program, students are introduced to university resources, and a network of faculty and administrators, dedicated peer mentors and committed program professionals. Students receive services designed to develop the necessary skills and strategies to succeed in college. All of the services are free of charge and available to any student who completes the application, qualifies under federal guidelines and is invited into the program.”
MSU is among 22 colleges chosen across Michigan this year to receive funding for TRIO Student Support Services. The other colleges and universities receiving funding this year include: Adrian College, Aquinas College, Bay de Noc Community College, Bay Mills Community College, Finlandia University, Glen Oaks Community College, Gogebic Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Jackson College, Kellogg Community College, Lake Michigan College, Madonna University, Mott Community College, Northern Michigan University, Siena Heights University, Southwestern Michigan College, St. Clair County Community College, University of Detroit Mercy, Wayne County Community College District, and Western Michigan University.
The Federal TRIO Programs include 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 post-baccalaureate programs. Visit MSU's TRIO Student Support Services website for more information about the program.