Skip to main content

TRIO Student Support Services


TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide support, guidance, and access to opportunities to historically underrepresented college students. The program was created as one of eight federal programs as part of Title IV of the Higher Education Act and is one of only 25 TRIO SSS programs in Pennsylvania. Westminster College’s TRIO SSS program was established in 2020 and serves approximately 140 students each year.

 Apply Now


What We Do

While there are many support services and offices across campus, TRIO SSS is often the first stop for our participants. Whether we can provide assistance or guidance in our offices, or if we need to help you seek services from another office, we pride ourselves on being the first place a TRIO student comes when they need help.

When working with TRIO SSS, students are assigned an academic advisor that takes the time to get to know each of their students and deliver a personalized action plan for a successful term. Advisors will work with participants to develop a semesterly plan to address a student’s academic, personal, career, or financial literacy goals. Students meet with their advisor regularly throughout the term to ensure they are meeting their goals and are encouraged to take advantage of the other opportunities that TRIO SSS provides.

In addition to academic, career, and financial education, TRIO SSS will regularly sponsor cultural trips, graduate and professional school visits, and visits to employers of interest to our participants.

Participation in the TRIO SSS program is limited to 140 students per year. Students must be accepted into the program based on eligibility criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Services Offered

As a participant in the TRIO SSS program, a student can receive:

  • Regular meetings with an assigned TRIO SSS advisor, and support from the entire TRIO team
  • A semesterly review of your specific needs and a plan to help you meet them and achieve your goals
  • Academic advising and academic skills coaching
  • Course selection/ degree progress planning, in consultation with your Faculty Advisor
  • Assistance in developing academic and personal goals each term
  • Major/Career Exploration, in consultation with the Professional Development Center
  • Assistance in Financial Aid Planning and application, in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid
  • Financial and Economic Literacy Education
  • Graduate or Professional School planning and preparation
  • Access to the TRIO SSS resource library
  • Advocacy from your TRIO SSS advisor and development of self-advocacy skills
  • Referrals and assistance connecting to other offices on campus, as needed

Eligibility Requirements

To join the TRIO SSS program, a student must be:

  • A current Westminster student, or be accepted for enrollment for the next academic semester at Westminster College
  • A citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States
  • Able to demonstrate an academic need that TRIO can meet to successfully pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Pursuing their first Bachelor’s degree

Students must also meet any one or more of the following criteria:

The TRIO SSS Program encourages potentially eligible newly admitted and current students to apply. Applications will be processed throughout the year, and eligible students who apply after our program reaches capacity (140 students) will be placed on a waitlist until a vacancy is available.

How to Apply

To apply for the TRIO SSS Program, please complete the appropriate online application listed below. Please note that the application may require you to gather additional information and documents before completion. Paper copies of the application are available in TRIO's temporary offices in the Professional Development Center, located in the McKelvey Campus Center.

After submitting your application, the TRIO SSS team will determine your eligibility. If you are selected to participate, we will contact you to schedule a program orientation and meeting with your TRIO SSS advisor.

 Incoming First-Year/Transfer Students Apply Here

 Current/Returning Westminster Students Apply Here

The TRIO Student Support Services project at Westminster College is 100% federally funded at $261,888.00 annually.