San Marcos,
11:35 AM

CSUSM Receives $1.4 Million TRiO Grant Renewal

Press Release by Margaret Chantung

The U.S. Department of Education awarded California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) a five-year renewal grant totaling over $1.4 million to continue funding academic support for underrepresented students in higher education through the university’s TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO SSS) program.

Serving 200 students from first-generation, low-income, and/or disability backgrounds, the goal of TRiO SSS is to increase the retention and graduation rates of college students traditionally at a higher risk for dropping out. Research has continually shown that college students facing great financial hardship or lacking strong academic support are more likely to quit or fail at a higher rate than students without those disadvantages.

Through the program, student participants can access a variety of services including academic tutoring, counseling, cultural enrichment activities, financial literacy, early interventions and evaluations, mentoring, priority registration, graduate school preparation, laptop loans, supplemental grant aid, workshops, and utilization of The Center at CSUSM, a multipurpose computer lab and studying space.

TRiO SSS has been hosted uninterruptedly on campus since 1993. The program’s recent five-year grant renewal was one of only 968 TRiO programs funded nationally—58 fewer than in 2010.

“Since 2008, our annual retention rate for student participants has been over 90 percent,” said Heather Northway, CSUSM TRiO SSS director. “In addition, our six-year graduation rate was 74 percent for students who enrolled in fall 2008 and 71 percent for students who enrolled in 2009. We are very proud of the success of the program and congratulate all of the work of our staff who have made our students’ academic dreams possible.”

For more information about the TRiO SSS program at CSUSM, contact Heather Northway at (760) 750-8024 or visit More information on the TRiO SSS grant and its impact around the nation, is available online at: