TRIO SSS Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more information about the TRIO Student Support Services program with these common questions and answers.
In this Section

Why do I need to apply? What are the eligibility criteria? 

The TRIO SSS program is offered through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and needs to follow federal guidelines. Participants must be undergraduate students enrolled at UW-Stout or accepted for enrollment to the university. Additionally, students must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • A student who is first-generation 
    Definition: (A) An individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate (4 year) degree;
    (B) In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate (4 year) degree. Your signature on the application verifies this criteria. 

  • A student who meets federal low-income criteria
    Definition: A
     individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census. We determine financial eligibility based on guidelines for federal TRIO Programs low-income levels using taxable income (not adjusted gross income).  If you have filled out FAFSA for the academic year, we have access to this information and will verify. 

  • A student with a documented disability and is connected with Disability Services
    Definition: For the purposes of this grant, disability includes physical, learning, or mental health diagnoses. Examples include but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, etc. We work with Disability Services to confirm your connection with their office.


Why should I apply?

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is designed to be your “home base” at UW-Stout to get support.  We are here to help you graduate and achieve your goals along the way, whatever they may be. We either provide direct support to our students or connect you to trusted campus partners. As a student in the program, you have access to services and opportunities that are reserved just for our students, like advising, tutoring, events, and activities.

When should I apply?

We accept applications year-round. If you are an incoming first year student, you are welcome to apply once you are accepted to UW-Stout.  We will send steps on how to get connected before the academic semester starts.

How will I know the status of my application?

Students who have applied will be emailed a notification of their initial status, within two weeks. Those selected to continue in the application process will participate in an intake interview with a staff member who will inform them of the final decision. If you are curious about the status of your application, please reach out to

I didn’t apply before I started at UW-Stout, is it too late?

New students, current students, transfer students and non-traditional students are all encouraged to apply. Students graduate each semester, so we are continually seeking to enroll new members. Because we are only funded to serve up to 430 students, however, we occasionally have a waiting list.

What if I am not accepted?

If you are notified that you have not been accepted and have questions, please contact our office. It is possible that you may need to submit additional information in order to have this status changed. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, we can refer you to other resources on campus.

What does it cost to be in SSS?

All program services are offered at NO COST to students enrolled in the program.

Can I apply if I live off campus or if I am a CI (distance learning) student?


What is Early Bridge? When can I apply?

Early Bridge is a unique opportunity for TRIO SSS students to get a jump on university life by “bridging” your high school and college experiences. You are able to move in a few days early, become familiar with the campus, learn tips and tricks to enhance your personal and academic success, hear about campus resources, and build relationships with fellow students and support staff.  This is a great way to increase your comfort level and start your college career ahead of your peers.  Early Bridge for fall 2021 is at capacity. 

I’m pretty busy already. How much time to I need to devote to the program?

The SSS program is tailored to fit your needs.  You can choose to be as active as little as a few hours each semester, or as much as a few hours per week.  At minimum, we expect participants to meet with their assigned SSS advisor at least once per semester.

I have a disability, what documentation is needed?

Students with documented disabilities (physical, psychological, or learning) should have documentation submitted to UW-Stout Disability Services.  Click here to submit your documentation and get connected with Disability Services.

I already get good grades, why should I participate?

TRIO SSS is not only for students who need academic help, but also for those needing additional support for rigorous academic programs; seeking other assistance (applying to graduate schools, exploring volunteer and internship opportunities, and job searching); looking for a place to call home base; and desiring leadership opportunities. Students would tell you that you should participate because it enhances your college experience and helps you answer questions you didn’t even know you had!

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