Student Support Services: Frequently Asked Questions

TRiO programs were established from an initiative of the Lyndon 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 following years and reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act, other programs were added (Upward Bound Math Science, Veterans Upward Bound, and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Programs).

For a more detailed historical account of TRiO and descriptions of each program and the services they provide, see the Department of Education website.

 SSS Group at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

What is SSS?

The Student Support Services (SSS) Program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education. It was established to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to receive assistance to improve academic skills which will enable them to successfully meet their goal of earning their college degree.

Our goal is to be a resource providing continuous encouragement, motivation, guidance, direction, and focus as students pursue post-secondary education.

What kind of services do you provide?

Student Support Services offers many services. We encourage our students to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities like:

  • Academic and life skills workshops.
  • Tutorial assistance.
  • Financial aid information.
  • Cultural events.
  • Referrals to campus and community resources.

What are the criteria to become a part of Student Support Services?

Students must meet certain qualifications mandated by the US Department of Education as indicated below.


Individuals must be US citizens or permanent residents enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma. Students are required to have a documented academic need such as:

  • Low high school grades.
  • Low admission test scores.
  • Low college grades.
  • Failing grades.
  • Out of the academic pipeline for more than 5 years.
  • Limited English Proficiency.
  • Lack of educational or career goals.
  • Lack of academic preparedness for college level coursework.
  • Need for academic support to raise grades in required course/major.

In addition, individuals must belong to one of the following student groups.

  • First-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor's degree).
  • Meet Federal financial guidelines to be determined upon application submission.

How do I join?

It's easy! If you meet the above guidelines, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Stop by our office (Chambers Library, 3rd floor, room 315A) and pick up an application or you can download one here: Traditional Majors or STEM Majors (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics).

  2. Fill out an application form and submit copies of the following supporting documents:

  3. Schedule an appointment with the SSS staff for your application review.

If you need any assistance with any of this information please contact our office at 974-3607.

If you have any other questions please contact 974-3607.