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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

August 20, 2020

Educational Supportive Services awarded TRIO grant from Department of Education

Submitted by Geralyn Tracz


The U.S. Department of Education announced that Kansas State University will receive a federal TRIO Student Support Services grant of $343,522 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. K-State, where the program is called Educational Supportive Services, or ESS, serves 300 students annually and has been awarded this grant every five years since 1973.

Student Support Services helps college students who are income limited, first generation — those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree — or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include on-to-one academic tutoring, financial aid advice, student success coaching, Grant Aid awards and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Many Student Support Services alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, U.S. Rep. Gwendolynne Moore of Wisconsin's 4th District and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.

Student Support Services 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.

"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 nonprofit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference. 

If you know a student that could benefit from these services, check out the ESS webpage at k-state.edu/ess for an online application.