Frequently Asked Question

TRIO Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are TRIO Programs?

TRIO Programs help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in their economic and social lives. The mission of the USC TRIO Programs is to work in partnership with the University of South Carolina and the Richland County community and schools to promote educational opportunities primarily among academically capable low-income and first-generation college students. TRIO Programs are federally funded by the US Department of Education.

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Q: How many programs comprise TRIO?

There are five TRIO Programs: 1) Educational Talent Search (ETS) serves students in the sixth through twelfth grades, 2) Upward Bound serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades, 3) the Opportunity Scholars Program (OSP) serves college level students, 4) the Ronald McNair Program serves current undergraduate students preparing for graduate study, and 5) the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) serves adult students.

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Q: Does TRIO offer any scholarships?

TRIO does not offer a general scholarship. However, some Upward Bound and some OSP earn merit and need based scholarships to their participants. The Upward Bound Parents' Association raises money to award scholarships to graduating seniors. OSP students are awarded academic scholarships including the J. Manning Hiers Scholarship, the Abney Scholarship, and the Darla Moore-TRIO Scholarship.

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Q: Does TRIO help individuals pursue their GED?

Yes. EOC counselors interact directly with adult education centers to help program participants obtain their GED. Participants must plan to enter a degree-seeking program.

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Q: Does TRIO help disabled individuals?

Yes. TRIO provides services to ALL individuals who are low-income and/or first-generation college students.

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Q: Who is eligible to receive TRIO services?

Program participants are generally low-income, first-generation college-bound students. ETS and Upward Bound serve middle and high schools in Richland District One. In Richland District Two, we serve students at Dent Middle School and Richland Northeast High School. OSP students must be USC freshmen. McNair scholars must have completed over 70 hours of undergraduate coursework and plan to pursue a Ph.D. EOC participants must be at least 19 years of age and residents of Richland County. EOC offers a variety of referral services, but the major goal of the program is to enroll participants in a degree-seeking program.

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Q: Does TRIO have any activities during the summer?

None of our programs is specifically for the summer. The Upward Bound program has a six-week summer institute for those students that have participated during the academic phase. Ronald E. McNair scholars begin the program during a six-week summer component. However, they continue enrollment during the school year. Talent Search has recently partnered with Richland Clicks for a two-week career exploration program. Participants are chosen by Richland District One.

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Q: How can I contact the TRIO office?

For further information about our programs and services you may visit the TRIO office on Monday-Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. You may also call the office at 803.777.5125.

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Q: Where is the TRIO office located?

The TRIO office is located at 1400 Wheat Street across from the Blatt P.E. center. Visit USC map directory for a map to the TRIO office.

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Q: Do other universities sponsor TRIO Programs?

Yes. If you are not eligible for participation in USC TRIO Programs, there are TRIO Programs located throughout the state of South Carolina and throughout the United States. Visit the Council for Opportunity in Education to find out more information about other programs.

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