History of TRIO
TRIO programs were born from an initiative of the Johnson Administrations' "War on Poverty." The first program, Upward Bound was created with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Talent Search followed in 1965 as a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The third program, Special Services, now known as Student Support Services, was authorized in the Higher Education Act of 1968. When Student Support Services was added as the third program, the name TRIO was adopted to represent the programs. In subsequent years and reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act, several other programs were added (Upward Bound Math Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Programs) but like the programs, the name TRIO has stayed the test of time.
TRIO programs are dependent on federal funding and are therefore subject to changing political agendas and administrations. Having garnered bi-partisan support over the years, TRIO programs have fought and won difficult funding battles to remain a vital force in the efforts to gain greater access to educational opportunity for under-represented populations. For a more detailed historical account of TRIO and descriptions of each program and the services they provide, see the Council on Educational Opportunity's webpage. For additional information especially about the rules and regulations of TRIO programs see the Department of Education website.