TriO Student Support Services Receives $220,000 U.S. Department of Education Grant


Rutgers University–Camden will bolster its mission of providing exceptional educational opportunities for the poorest, most underserved students, thanks to a new $220,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The five-year grant, awarded to the federally funded TriO Student Support Services (TriO SSS) program at Rutgers–Camden, will enable 160 undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds – most of whom are the first in their families to attend college – to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“Rutgers University–Camden delivers access to the world-class Rutgers experience right here in South Jersey, and initiatives such as our TRiO Student Support Services programs afford even more students the opportunities provided by a Rutgers degree,” says Phoebe A. Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for its continued investment in our program, and to our congressman, Donald Norcross, and our U.S. senators – Cory Booker and Robert Menendez – for their ongoing support of Rutgers–Camden.”

044-copy2Norcross, who represents New Jersey’s first congressional district, lauds the program for its ability to level the playing field for more students. “Every student deserves a fair and equal shot at quality education,” says Norcross. “Programs like this put these students closer to their dream of becoming college graduates and productive members of the American workforce.”

The TRiO SSS grant also provides aid to financially support those students who want to enroll in summer courses and participate in Rutgers–Camden experiential-learning activities, including civic engagement, support for undergraduate research, and participation in study-abroad programs. Minimizing both time to degree completion and loan debt, while maximizing the educational experience, are the hallmarks of the TRiO SSS experience at Rutgers–Camden.

“We give them the support and guidance that they need in order to achieve their Rutgers degree,” explains Pamela Clark, director of the TRiO Student Support Services program at Rutgers–Camden. “We give personalized support and counseling on academic and personal matters, and we seek to provide a clear path to graduation with a holistic approach that serves each student. Most of all, we are a community and we give our students the sense of belonging that they need in order to thrive.”

Current and former TriO students at Rutgers–Camden praised the program’s nurturing academic environment that have made it possible for them to pursue a higher degree.

“TRiO is the reason I graduated from college,” Edily Santos, a Camden resident who just earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers–Camden this summer. “The support that it offers students is one of a kind. It is more than an educational support system; it is like a family whom you can rely on during those hardest moments.”

Hikeki Yamamoto, a junior finance major at Rutgers–Camden, echoed the sentiment, noting that the program gave him the support necessary to improve himself.

“Their tutoring and mentoring sessions help me not only educationally but also personally,” says Yamamoto, a Maple Shade resident.

Additional information about the TRiO Student Support Services program at Rutgers University–Camden is available at

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