University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings’ TRiO program funded for 5 more years

July 16, 2015 



Kelly Buck, Student Support Services TRiO, 657-1668
Carmen Price, University Relations & Communications, 657-2266


U.S. Department of Education awarded MSUB with a $1.5 million grant for student support services


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings received word Wednesday that federal funding will hold steady for its TRiO Student Support Services Program.



The announcement of a $1.5 million student support services grant for disadvantaged students was made through U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s office. MSU Billings will receive $304,719 annually throughout the next five-year grant cycle beginning in September—about what it received in the previous cycle. The grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Education.


In an email, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, who also co-chairs the TRiO caucus, said he proudly supports the program so more students can obtain a higher education, accomplish goals and increase their shot at success.


“TRiO has given hard-working students the opportunity to attend college and be among the first ones in their family to graduate,” Tester, said.


The Student Support Services TRiO program provides academic tutoring, mentoring, financial literacy assistance and career counseling for students from low-income families, first-generation college students and students with disabilities, Kelly Buck, director of Student Support Services TRiO, said.


“These funds provide very intentional and intrusive support during a critical time at our university,” Buck said. “The program yields a high retention rate of at-risk students, and having the fund renewal will ensure we can continue that work.”


Buck said in 2013-2014, the retention rate for students enrolled in the program was 87 percent.


Through a competitive grant process, funds are awarded 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 impacts not only the students we serve, but their families and generations to come,” Buck said.


PHOTO ABOVE: Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., visits with MSUB students during the 2014-2015 academic year about achieving academic success.