The TRIO website describes its services and scholarships as being for the disadvantaged. First-generation students, maybe, or those lacking enough money to pursue a four-year education. But it’s likely the recipients end up thinking the opposite; that they’ve been given an edge, a leg up. An advantage they otherwise wouldn’t have had.
During my freshman year, I joined the TRIO Scholars, which helped me to be able to stay in college. Without that, I likely would have had to drop out for financial reasons.
Funded through the U.S. Department of Education, the TRIO programs include Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services and the McNair Scholars. Upward Bound and Talent Search both create opportunities for underrepresented high school students to go to college. The McNair Scholars program prepares low income, first-generation and students of color for graduate school. UNH just received $379,979 toward Student Support Services, which is aimed at providing the assistance needed for students to complete their education.
“Without the Upward Bound program, I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to go to college. I’m a first-generation, low income student and I didn’t know the first thing about applying to college,” says Nicole Sarette ’22. “With the help of Upward Bound, I decided that UNH was the best college for me. During my freshman year, I joined the TRIO Scholars, which helped me to be able to stay in college. Without that, I likely would have had to drop out for financial reasons.”
A sociology, justice studies and education major, Sarette got involved with Upward Bound during her sophomore year of high school in Manchester, New Hampshire. She credits the support services at UNH with helping her find scholarship and work study opportunities as well as guiding her toward her major and career path. She also found her way to McNair Scholars.
“TRIO has helped me so much in shaping my goals. I plan on applying to grad school, and at the moment I’m looking into getting a Ph.D. in sociology,” Sarette says. “I’d like to be a researcher, and hopefully a professor at a university eventually.”
Ashley Lauderdale ’21 didn’t know anything about TRIO until she applied to UNH. Then she met Randy Schroeder, associate director of the university’s TRIO Student Support Services.
“He has helped me get academic help when needed, provided support, and always pushes me to go out of my comfort zone,” Lauderdale says. “Student Support provides weekly workshops on resume building, scholarship searches, and learning how to navigate LinkedIn, which I have benefited from. I also received scholarships from TRIO my first two years at UNH.”
Lauderdale, an Exeter, New Hampshire, resident, who is a dual major in sociology and justice studies with minors in social work and forensics, plans to go graduate school for a degree in criminology.
UNH was awarded its first TRIO grant in 1974 and has received funding every year since.
The grants are for five years and have to be reapplied for accordingly. The latest award is for the last in its five-year cycle.