TRIO Student Support Services Program

TRIO LOGOFirst-Gen Forward Logo


About TRIO Student Support Services Program

The TRIO SSS Program is for first-generation college students, those students whose parents have not completed undergraduate studies at a four-year university. The program also serves those who meet certain income criteria and students with documented disabilities. The program propels students at Michigan State University towards academic success and graduation.

About First-Gen Forward Initative

Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative (NSSC) and TRIO Student Support Service programs steer first-generation students in the right direction by providing access to resources and support. These efforts recently earned MSU acceptance into the Center for First-Generation Student Success’s First-Gen Forward Cohort in 2021. More information can be found here.


Join us in supporting you as a first-generation scholar at MSU!

  • Learn how college works and how to make it work for you
  • Make MSU feel smaller by joining our community
  • Connect with a team who have shared your experiences
  • Receive coaching on how to build your strengths and find your purpose at MSU
  • Get support for academic, personal, and professional needs
  • Experience unique opportunities to give back and contribute to the community
  • First-generation: Neither parent or guardian has graduated from a four-year college or university (students whose parents earned a college degree in another country, unfortunately, are not considered first generation)… OR/AND
  • Income-qualified: Determined from evaluating federal taxable income information (see the how to join page for more information on income)… OR/AND
  • Have a documented disability.
  • Students must also be a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen/resident alien)


  • Commit to active participation in the program during your time at MSU
  • Meet with a TRIO Peer Coach two times a month
  • Meet with a TRIO Professional Coach/Advisor two times a semester
  • Attend regular tutoring sessions provided exclusively for TRIO Scholars
  • Enroll in a TRIO SSS UGS first-year seminar course
  • Small supportive community of professionals and peers
  • Dedicated TRIO Peer Coach to support your personal goals
  • Dedicated TRIO Professional Coach/academic advisor to establish and support academic goals
  • Academic support for common courses
  • Financial aid and financial literacy assistance
  • Graduate school preparation services
  • Three-week summer program for incoming first-year students
  • Leadership development, professional development, and community service opportunities

This program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Federal TRIO Programs, which are a set of opportunity programs that motivate and support first-generation, low-income students in successfully pursuing post-secondary degrees. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and success. Student Support Services (SSS) is one of the numerous programs that currently make up TRIO. TRIO can trace its roots to the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965

Student Support Services (SSS), is the largest and most expansive program promoting college success for first-generation, low-income students, and students with disabilities as it provides academic tutoring, personal coaching, and other supports necessary for such students to persist and ultimately graduate from college. SSS was created precisely because Congress recognized that financial aid alone is insufficient to ensure college completion.

Designed with first-gen students in mind, this program supports students in their transition from high school to college and beyond. Each scholar in the program is assigned a peer and professional coach to work with during their entire undergraduate career until graduation. Peer and professional coaches are dedicated to building academic skills, helping scholars navigate the university experience and supporting personal growth. Students who actively participate in the program every semester are eligible for scholarship funding at the end of year academic year.