TRIO/Student Support Services

Students selected to participate in the TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) program receive individualized assistance from professional, caring staff members to help navigate through the college experience. We’ll support you until your graduation and assist you into a career. Our services are offered FREE of charge. Our program is funded by a federal TRIO Grant of $253,000 annually for the 2020-2025 program years. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants. For more information about the federal program, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

Who is Eligible?

TRIO-SSS students receive help with:

  • Applying for financial aid and scholarships
  • Financial literacy and completing tax forms
  • Understanding class syllabi and learning time management
  • Career development and resume writing
  • Goal setting and future planning

TRIO-SSS students have fun by:

  • Getting connected with others
  • Participating in game nights, crafts, workshops and events
  • Attending off-site cultural and social events
  • Hanging out between classes
  • Winning prizes

TRIO-SSS students save money by:

  • Checking out textbooks, laptops & calculators
  • Applying for TRIO-SSS scholarships
  • Taking department-sponsored interest inventories
  • Attending free events
  • TRIO buying graduation caps & gowns
  • Earning a free credit in SSS101

TRIO-SSS’s Pre-Orientation Program offers:

  • A chance to move in early
  • Building friendships before classes start
  • Early connections with staff and student leaders
  • Developing college-level study skills
  • Becoming familiar with the available support

“TRIO has helped me realize my potential and let me know that I can fulfil my dreams. I am a first-gen college student, and I would never have done as well as I am in college without TRIO.”


“I have greatly appreciated having people to talk to when I get concerned about my financial status, academic standing, and future career. TRIO helps me stay motivated and ambitious towards my goals, and I cannot think of a better group of people for such support.”


How can I apply?

To apply to the TRIO-SSS program, please scan the QR code below or CLICK THIS LINK to access the online application.

Frequently Asked Questions

A variety of national scholarship opportunities are available, and active participants can apply for an SSS grant. Program staff will also help students maximize their financial resources and search for other scholarship opportunities.

TRIO-SSS is available to students whether they live on campus or commute.

Once you are accepted into TRIO-SSS, you are eligible to participate until graduation. Individual meeting topics and workshop offerings match where you are at in college and grow with you, building on your knowledge and experiences.

We encourage students who feel they may be eligible to apply. We determine financial eligibility based on guidelines for federal TRIO Programs low-income levels using TAXABLE income (not adjusted gross income).

Students who have submitted an application will be emailed a notification of their initial status, usually within one week. Those selected to continue in the application process will participate in an intake interview with the program director who will inform them of the final decision.

New students, upperclassmen, transfer students and non-traditional students are all encouraged to apply. We graduate participants from the program each semester, so we are continually seeking to enroll new members. Because we are funded to serve a limited number of students, however, we occasionally have a waiting list.

TRIO-SSS is not only for students who need academic help, but also for those needing additional support for rigorous academic programs; seeking other assistance (applying to graduate schools, exploring volunteer and internship opportunities, and job searching); looking for a place to call home base; and desiring leadership opportunities. Students would tell you that you should participate because it enhances your college experience and helps you answer questions you didn’t even know you had!

Students with documented disabilities (physical, psychological or learning) should have paperwork on file with Marian University’s Center for Academic Support and Excellence/Disability Services office.

We host several social events each month. In the past, these have included holiday activities, game nights, sporting events, professional theater productions, bowling, mystery tours, and more! We have a study studio dedicated solely for our program participants. Our Summer POP (Pre-Orientation Program) experience for incoming freshmen helps you meet classmates even before the official school year starts. We match our incoming freshmen with a student leader who offers additional social opportunities and support throughout the year. You can also take advantage of our weekend away at the Outdoor Wisconsin Leadership School experiencing the outdoors, teambuilding with new friends, and learning leadership skills.

We recommend that to avoid becoming overwhelmed by multiple program requirements, EXCEL students wait to apply. However, joining TRIO-SSS immediately after participating in the EXCEL program (or even overlapping a little near the end) is a great way to continue getting the support you need

You could chose to be active as little as six hours each semester – or as much as several hours each week. At minimum each semester, we expect our participants to attend:

  • 3 individual meetings (to cover academic, career and financial topics)
  • 2 informational workshops
  • 1 social or cultural event

We call it our 3-2-1+ model — which most of our students say is as easy as one, two, three!

*Third and fourth year students only need to complete their 3-2-1’s once each academic year.

All program services are offered at NO COST!

If you are notified that you have not been accepted and have questions, please contact our office. It is possible that you may need to submit additional information in order to have this status changed. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, we can refer you to other resources on campus.

Summer Pre-Orientation Program (POP) is a unique opportunity for TRIO-SSS  students to get a jump on university life by “bridging” your high school and college experiences. You are able to move in a few days early, become familiar with the campus, learn tips and tricks to enhance your personal and academic success, hear about campus resources, and build relationships with fellow students and support staff. This is a great way to increase your comfort level and start your college career ahead of your peers.

We love to enroll incoming freshman into the program even before the academic year starts! An application packet should be sent to your home before school starts. All you have to do is fill out and return the application.

Marian University’s TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) Program is offered through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and needs to follow federal guidelines. Participants must be undergraduate students enrolled at Marian or accepted for enrollment to the university. Additionally, students must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a first-generation college student where neither parent/guardian has completed a 4-year college degree (obtained a Bachelor’s degree)
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a documented disability

We are your coaches through college – your home away from home. TRIO-SSS can build on your strengths and help with your weaknesses. Participants have access to services and opportunities not available to others – including a lending library and a dedicated computer lab/study studio.

For more information, contact us.

920.923.8632 or