Department of Education TRiO Student Support Services

Allowable Request:
Avg size: $282,000

CFDA #: 84.042A

Funding Purpose:
The purpose of the SSS Program is to increase the number of disadvantaged, low-income college students, first-generation college students, and college students with disabilities in the United States who successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level.
The Student Support Services Program provides grants for projects designed to—
(a) Increase the college retention and graduation rates of eligible students;
(b) Increase the transfer rate of eligible students from two-year to four-year institutions; and
(c) Foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, individuals with disabilities, homeless children and youth, foster care youth, or other disconnected students; and
(d) Improve the financial and economic literacy of students in areas such as—
(1) Basic personal income, household money management, and financial planning skills; and
(2) Basic economic decision-making skills.

Competitive Preference and Invitational Priorities:
In the FY 2015 competition, the Department has established two competitive preference priorities and two invitational priorities. They are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1: Increasing Postsecondary Access, Affordability, and Completion (up to 6 additional points). Projects that will support strategies designed to improve the diagnosis of remediation needs, the provision of remedial education, and the support services needed to assist students in taking credit bearing courses.

Competitive Preference Priority 2: Influencing the Development of Non-Cognitive Factors (up to 4 additional points). Projects that are designed to improve students’ mastery of non-cognitive skills and behaviors (e.g., academic behaviors, academic mindset, perseverance, self-regulation, social and emotional skills, and approaches toward learning strategies) and enhance student motivation and engagement in learning.

Invitational Priority 1: Effective Loan Counseling Interventions (no additional points). Applicants are encouraged to propose promising intervention projects that adopt new and innovative loan counseling strategies that assist SSS participants in navigating the financial aid process, making informed choices about debt financing options, and taking advantage of available programs that make loan debt more manageable.

Invitational Priority 2: Evidence of Promise (no additional points). Applicants are encouraged to provide supporting evidence that meets the Evidence of Promise definition (as defined in the Notice). Note: An applicant addressing this invitational priority should identify up to two study citations that meet this standard. Relevant studies may be reviewed to determine if they meet the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards.

Applicants must address the competitive preference priorities in a separate section of the application submission to receive up to an additional ten points. An applicant may receive up to six points for addressing competitive preference priority one and an applicant may receive up to four points for addressing competitive preference priority two. An applicant must address both competitive preference priorities for a maximum of ten points based on the extent to which the application contains substantive information regarding the priorities. Applicants may include up to four additional pages for each competitive preference priority addressed. An applicant may also use up to four additional pages for each invitational priority addressed. These additional pages cannot be used for or transferred to the project narrative.

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