About SSS Program


Syracuse University submitted its first request for funding for, and was awarded, a Student Support Services (SSS) project in the late 1970s. SSS currently serves 250 Syracuse University students. Data collected from years 1991 through 2010 reveals SSS students being retained through their first year at better than 90% on average. Data from 1991 through 2005 showed a six year graduation rate at better than 80% on average. These percentages are impressive as they indicate that with SSS project support our students are retained and graduate at higher rates than regularly admitted Syracuse University students and better than the national average of students participating in SSS projects at other institutions (Syracuse University Office of Institutional Research and Assessment; Postsecondary Education Opportunity).

Incoming first year students admitted to Syracuse University under the auspices of the SSS project will be required to participate in the SummerStart prefreshman program (http://summerstart.syr.edu/). At that point they will be assigned an academic counselor who will work with them to craft the best educational experience possible. SSS assists students in four primary areas at Syracuse University: academic support; career and professional development; financial literacy and grant support; and personal counseling. SSS academic counselors are mentors, teachers, friends and advocates.


Through a grant competition, funds are awarded by the United States Department of Education to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. Student Support Services (SSS) projects also may provide grant aid to current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triostudsupp/index.html).

Participant Eligibility for Program Services
To receive assistance, students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of postsecondary education at a grantee institution. Students from families who meet federal income guidelines and who are first-generation college students or students with disabilities evidencing academic need are eligible to participate in SSS projects (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triostudsupp/index.html)

The following information comes from a published report from the Pell Institute:
http://www.pellinstitute.org/downloads/publications Studies_Find_TRIO_Programs_Effective_May_2009.pdf

National Studies Find TRIO Programs
Effective at Increasing College Enrollment and Graduation

In 1997, Westat, Inc. completed and submitted an assessment report1 to the U.S. Department of Education on the impact of Student Support Services (SSS). The report’s findings suggest that SSS has a statistically significant positive effect on student success, persistence, and retention. These findings conclusively indicate that SSS is an effective program. When compared to similarly qualified students, who did not participate in the program, SSS participants were more likely to:

1. Remain enrolled in higher education,
2. Accrue more college credits, and
3. Earn higher grade point averages (GPAs).

How to apply for SSS at Syracuse:

*Apply to Syracuse University. All students must apply to Syracuse University (students may use either the SU Application or the Common Application). Application fee waivers are accepted according to eligibility guidelines. There is no separate SSS application for Syracuse University’s SSS Program. High school counselors, in their recommendations, can request consideration for SSS eligibility for applications they deem appropriate.
*Complete the FAFSA
*Complete the CSS Profile (CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE – Apply Onlinehttps://profileonline.collegeboard.org/)

Once our students are admitted they are then obligated to meet the necessary financial guidelines. Both academic and financial guidelines must be met in order to be admitted through SSS.

Federal TRIO Programs
Current-Year Low-Income Levels

(Effective January 11, 2019 until further notice)

Size of Family Unit 48 Contiguous States, D.C., and Outlying Jurisdictions Alaska Hawaii
1 $18,735 $23,400 $21,570
2 $25,365 $31,695 $29,190
3 $31,995 $39,990 $36,810
4 $38,625 $48,285 $44,430
5 $45,255 $56,580 $52,050
6 $51,885 $64,875 $59,670
7 $58,515 $73,170 $67,290
8 $65,145 $81,465 $74,910

For family units with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $6,630 for the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia and outlying jurisdictions; $8,295 for Alaska; and $7,620 for Hawaii.

The term “low-income individual” means an individual whose family’s taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 150 percent of the family income levels established by the Census Bureau for determining poverty status. The 2019 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 11, 2019. Federal Register notice forthcoming. Publication is delayed due to temporary closure of federal offices.