(Sioux City, Iowa – November 4, 2020) Briar Cliff University has received a federal TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant from the US Department of Education totaling $1.67 million for five years, $333,500 annually, to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. Briar Cliff University was first awarded this grant in 1990.
SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree), or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant provides is comprehensive and includes academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely for students to graduate with the lowest possible debt.
“Briar Cliff has proudly offered this program to our students for many years,” says Dr. Rachelle Karstens, Briar Cliff University President. “These programs help ensure students receive the support they need to succeed in college and beyond. We are so grateful to once again be awarded this vital grant.”
“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. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, DC, dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.
The SSS program began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had; and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically
For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed.