LFCC’s TRIO program receives $1.47 million in federal funds

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~ Press release issued by Lord Fairfax Community College

LFCC’s most vulnerable students’ needs will continue to be met thanks to additional funding in the form of a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1.47 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Each year between this fall and August 2025, $294,725 will be distributed to the college’s TRIO program on the Middletown Campus.

The TRIO program serves students who are low-income, first-generation college students, or students who have a disability. Currently, there are 160 students participating in the program.

“Our TRIO program offers specialized services, including academic advising, transfer planning, tutoring, financial aid assistance, financial literacy and college success skills to our students,” said Sarah Eaton, director of student support services at LFCC. “Additionally, we can help with emergency funding, individualized coaching, and socio-cultural opportunities. Our students also get their own lounge space on campus.

“We are so grateful for this grant award, which will go a long way towards helping more students meet their educational and career aspirations.”

Title IV of the Higher Education Act authorizes TRIO programs, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education via a vigorous grant competition held every five years, as well as yearly congressional appropriations.

The college received its first TRIO grant in 2001. The size of that grant was $219,362.

“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, president of the Council for Opportunity, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit dedicated to expanding college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and those with disabilities.

Begun in 1968, SSS is one of eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act. Recognizing that students whose parents lack a college degree have a harder time navigating the complexity of decisions required for college success, the SSS bolsters students who haven’t had the same academic opportunities as other college students, and helps remove barriers to thriving academically that students with disabilities may face.

The comprehensive services offered through SSS increase the likelihood that students will graduate or transfer to a four-year school with the lowest possible debt.

Among the alumni counted by SSS are Emmy, Tony and Academy Award winner Viola Davis; Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut; and U.S. Rep. (R-WI) Gwendolynn Moore.

Students interested in learning more about the TRIO program or applying should visit lfcc.edu/trio.

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