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SOU TRIO program re-upped through 2026

Southern Oregon University’s TRIO-Student Support Services program, designed to help nontraditional students graduate from college, has received a five-year, $1.6 million federal grant renewal that will keep the program running through 2026, the school announced Thursday.

SOU will receive from the U.S. Department of Education $325,598 per year for the school’s Success at Southern/TRIO Program, which is limited to 190 students per academic year and has served more than 1,500 since 1994, according to the university.

“I think anybody who’s eligible and applies and can be a part of the program, they’re admitted,” SOU spokesman Joe Mosley said.

Students can apply at inside.sou.edu/success/index.html, and those who qualify will be interviewed. There, they’ll be asked about their educational goals, career ambitions and academic barriers. Those accepted must attend a mandatory orientation session and a personal education plan meeting.

Mosley said applications to the program are accepted year-round but added that “we encourage students to apply early because space is limited to 190 students that TRIO-SSS needs to serve.”

When that limit is reached, those who missed the cutoff go on a waiting list. An annual application process opens every June 1. Of the 190 students who are accepted each year, 100 are continuing students from previous years and 90 are new.

Created following passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, federal TRIO programs are designed to help disadvantaged students progress from middle school through graduate school. TRIO is currently divided into eight sections, and the SOU grant is part of the Student Support Services Program. SOU also participates in another TRIO program called the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which prepares eligible undergraduate students for eventual doctoral studies.

According to Mosley, 67% of the Success at Southern/TRIO-SSS participants are first-generation, 21% have a documented disability and 75% are low income.