Polk State awarded $1.3 million grant for TRiO Student Support Services

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Polk State College approximately $1.3 million in Student Support Services grant funding to assist low-income and first-generation students, as well as students with disabilities, with succeeding in and graduating from college.

The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Polk State will receive $261,880 each year over five years as part of this grant period.

Many Student Support Services alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut. At Polk State College, the TRiO Student Support Services Program has served more than 3,100 students since 2001.

“TRiO Student Support Services continues to provide exceptional support and life-transforming opportunities to underrepresented students,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti. “We are grateful for this funding, which will allow our TRiO Program to help more students with meeting the challenges of higher education with the resources they need to develop their academic and self-management skills, and to succeed at Polk State and beyond.”

Student Support Services began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference.

Polk State students interested in TRiO Student Support Services may visit www.polk.edu/student-life/trio for more information and an application, and email trio@polk.edu for assistance.