About the Office of Special Programs, students sitting on the steps of John Jay College campus with laptops
TRiO logo

TRiO is a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. More than 2,800 programs nationally serve an estimated 790,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities from sixth grade through college graduation. TRiO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access, retention and success.  TRiO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.

Federal TRiO Programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans’ Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program) help students to overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education.

Educational Opportunity

Educational Opportunity Centers located throughout the country primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families. These Centers help individuals to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. There are 165 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 225,000 individuals.

Ronald E. McNair
Postbaccalaureate Achievement

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program is designed to encourage low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study.

Student Support

Student Support Services projects work to enable low-income students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants, who include disabled college students, receive tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction. More than 203,000 students are now being served by 1,071 Student Support Service programs at colleges and universities nationwide.


Talent Search projects serve young people in grades six through twelve. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs.