About the Program

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Students sitting around table talking

The history of TRiO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration’s War on Poverty.

In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960s, the term “TRiO” was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years, The TRiO Programs have been expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students who need assistance.

  • In 1972, the Higher Education Amendments added to the TRiO group authorizing the Training Program for Federal TRiO Programs, initially known as the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel.
  • In 1986, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program was added.
  • In 1990, the administration created the Upward Bound Math/Science Program to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of math and science.