Campus News Georgia Impact

Grants to assist first-gen, low-income students

Undergraduates socialize on the balcony of Amos Hall at the Terry Business Learning Community. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

The $2.6 million will assist hundreds of deserving UGA students

The University of Georgia was recently awarded $2.6 million to help support first-generation and low-income students as well as students with disabilities. These Student Support Services grants – which are funded by the Department of Education and have been renewed for five years – have already helped nearly 500 students at UGA.

This year, the university was also awarded a TRIO grant aimed at students pursuing degrees in STEM and health majors. This new funding will serve 260 students annually.

UGA’s seven TRIO programs are coordinated through the Division of Academic Enhancement. “For over 30 years, TRIO programs at UGA have successfully supported first-generation, low-income, and minoritized students at the university and across northeast Georgia. I am delighted to see the renewal of TRIO SSS and the new TRIO SSS-STEM-H as part of access programs in the Division of Academic Enhancement,” said Thomas Chase Hagood, director of the DAE.

The grants provide 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 with the lowest possible debt.

Bolsters students

SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had; and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

“UGA now offering pre-college and college TRIO programs is a fantastic opportunity for students and the surrounding community,” said Sherontae Maxwell, who serves as the assistant director for access within the DAE.  “The services, opportunities and resources that TRIO programs can now provide to a larger population of students is enormous. We will use this new TRIO SSS STEM-H grant to continue the momentum already set by our classic SSS Program.”

For more information on UGA’s TRIO programs, visit