Winthrop University: Winthrop Awarded $1.375 Million to Help Low Income, First Generation and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College
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Winthrop Awarded $1.375 Million to Help Low Income, First Generation and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College

August 20, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The TRiO program, now renamed at Winthrop as the TRiO Achievers Program, has been refunded for a five-year cycle.
  • First funded at Winthrop in 2005, it is one of more than 1,000 TRiO programs across the country funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that Winthrop University will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1.375 million to help more students graduate from college.  

The TRiO program, now renamed at Winthrop as the TRiO Achievers Program, has been refunded for a five-year cycle. First funded at Winthrop in 2005, it is one of more than 1,000 TRiO programs across the country funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

The program is designed to increase the academic performance, retention rates and graduation rates of program participants. The array of services provided are comprehensive and will include 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 that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. 

Jamie Cooper, Winthrop’s vice provost for student success and dean of University College, said the university’s TRiO Achievers Program has graduated 516 students, or 82 percent of overall students served, since its inception. “Winthrop has worked to serve 160 students annually with this program and most graduate within five years,” Cooper said. “This program has been a tremendous success story and has uplifted students to reach their potential. Earning a college degree will change the trajectory for students and their families so they can compete in the 21st century work force. We are delighted to be able to continue this program here.”

Winthrop’s latest grant application received a perfect score, achieving points for meeting retention and graduation objectives, according to Rose Gray, TRiO Achievers Program director. 

Students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, Gray said. This grant will bolster students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and will help students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically. 

Winthrop TRiO participants have a remarkable success rate: 99 percent of TRiO participants are in academic good standing at the end of the year; 97 percent return for their second year; and more than three-fourths graduate within five years.  

Winthrop provides a matching contribution of $81,000 for the grant, while the Winthrop Foundation also provides some monetary contribution.  

“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, who is president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C. Her group is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities. 

For more information, contact Gray at grayr@winthrop.edu

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Last Updated: 10/4/21