TRiO SSS Quick FAQS

What is TRiO: SSS?

TRiO: Student Support Services (TRIO: SSS) is a federally funded grant program at HCC. Becase TRiO: SSS is grant funded, the program is subject to federal legislation and regulations in addition to HCC polices. It is a limited enrollment program, funded to serve 175 eligible participants each year.

What are the eligibility requirements?

All applicants must meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements prior to acceptance into the program:

  • First Generation – neither parent/guardian received a baccalaureate degree
  • Low Income – federal low income levels can be found online with the U.S. Dept. of Education
  • Disability – students must be registered with HCC’s Disability Support Services Office or provide documentation

Applicants must also possess an academic need, which includes but is not limited to placement into developmental Math or English classes as the most common need in addition to limited English proficiency, poor college grades, lack of educational or career goals, etc.

What else are you looking for in a student?

It is preferred, but not required, that each applicant:

  • Plans to complete a degree at HCC
  • Plans to transfer after completing a degree
  • Be enrolled full time
  • Has completed or tested above MAT and ENG 098
  • Has a college GPA of 2.0 or better
  • Possess intrinsic motivation

Although TRiO: SSS is designed as an extra support system to students, participants in the program must possess a strong desire to not only attend college but to be a successful student and complete their programs. The ideal student possesses the drive to succeed but is still able to benefit from the services TRiO: SSS provides.

Do you give students books or money?

TRiO: SSS is not a “free book” program or a “grant” program in the sense that every student will receive a direct material or financial gain from participation. TRiO: SSS is able to offer a small number of books for daily use or study on-campus only.

Grant aid is given once a year to eligible program participants. The awarding of funds is competitive and based on an application and scoring rubric. To be eligible, one must be an active participant in the program and be a current recipient of Pell Grant funds, among other criteria.

What does TRiO: SSS provide?

  • Academic and transfer advising
  • Assistance with FAFSA and financial advice
  • One-on-one and small group tutoring
  • Visits to four-year colleges and universities
  • Cultural and educational trips/events
  • TRiO: SSS Study Center with access to laptops, reference books, etc.
  • Financial, academic, career, and transfer workshops
  • Grant aid to a limited number of eligible participants

How do I apply?

You can stop by the offices in the Student Center or fill out an application online.

What happens after I apply?

Program staff will verify your eligibility and you will receive a phone call or email to schedule an interview appointment.  You may be asked to provide additional documentation to bring to your interview. 

After your interview, you must come to an Intake Session to be considered a participant in the program. During the Intake Session, you will learn about the services offered, how the program works, and you will meet with the program manager or advisor to complete a personal educational plan and goals assessment.

What is expected of me as a participant?

Participants must have contact with TRiO: SSS staff each semester and take advantage of services and/or events if they want to continue in the program. This includes receiving tutoring, academic or transfer advising, assistance with financial aid, attending workshops, etc. 

Is TRiO: SSS for "academically deficient" students only?

No. Participants in TRiO: SSS vary greatly according to age, ethnicity, academic talent, major, and every characteristic in between. In fact, many TRiO: SSS students are academically talented. The one thing all should have in common, other than eligibility criteria, is a drive to complete college successfully and be well prepared for the future.

TRiO: SSS has had several participants transfer to elite schools, including the University of Maryland College Park, Columbia University, Towson University, and Loyola University, among many others.