On support of their commitment to education in America, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs (initially just three programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.
The first TRIO program at the University of North Texas was established in 1980. There are currently six TRIO programs at UNT, serving the unique educational needs of special population students. Participants must qualify according to guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education.
Institutional Support at the University of North Texas
TRIO programs at the University of North Texas are integrated into the Division of Student Affairs. Administrative oversight for the programs is the responsibility of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs who reports directly to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Characteristics of TRIO eligible students:
Two thirds of the students must meet the following:
- Low-income as defined by the U.S. Department of Education: family's taxable income amount is equal to 150% of poverty level as established by the U.S. Census Bureau, and
- First generation: neither parent has earned a baccalaureate degree.
The remaining third must meet qualifications specific to each TRIO program.
“It was a rough start.”
That’s how Leidy Guarin, a UNT sophomore, development and family studies major, sums up her early life. Guarin and her parents moved from their homeland of Colombia to the United States when she was 6 years old, settling in Bedford, Texas. Shortly after, her parents divorced. Guarin was forced to become self-sufficient beyond her years, largely fending for herself after school while her mother worked long hours as a housekeeper.