About Us

The TRIO Programs are home to four federally funded pre-collegiate and collegiate grant programs.  Our collegiate programs  PRIME STEM and Project BEST are Student Support Services programs.  Housed on UCF’s main campus, these programs serve undergraduate college students who are first-generation and/or low-income. Both programs offer academic support services, opportunities, and resources to enhance personal skills and academic excellence.

Our pre-collegiate programs,  Upward Bound (Project ACE and Project EDGE) serve students who attend either Apopka High School or Edgewater High School (Orange County Public Schools). Upward Bound aids a small cohort of high school students to prepare them for college.  In the summer term, Upward Bound students will spend a week in residence on UCF’s campus. They attend workshops covering topics such as academic success, SAT/ACT preparation and other college readiness workshops to prepare them for successful matriculation and graduation from college.


The term “TRIO” was coined in the late 1960s to describe three federally funded educational opportunity outreach programs. It began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The three original TRIO programs included Upward Bound (1964), Educational Talent Search (1965) and Student Support Services (1968). Since the development of the three, five additional programs have been added: Educational Opportunity Centers (1972), Veterans Upward Bound (1972), Training Programs for Special Programs Staff and Leadership (1976), Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (1986), and Upward Bound Math/Science (1990). TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. 

UCF has five TRIO projects housed under 2 categories: Collegiate and Pre-collegiate.  The TRIO Programs services 3 out of the 6 programs under the TRIO umbrella. UCF TRIO offers:  

For more information about our programs, please browse our collegiate and pre-collegiate pages for further details.

Vision Statement

We aspire to become a national model of excellence for access, persistence, retention, and graduation amongst TRIO programs by providing superior academic support services that guide our scholars to excellence. 

Mission Statement

The TRIO Programs addresses the academic and social needs of eligible students who are first-generation in college, have a documented disability, and/or demonstrate financial need. 

Our Program Goals

Our main goal of the program is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its scholars as they transition from one level of higher education to the next.  In addition, we achieve the following goals with our scholars through academic coaching, holistic mentoring, and quality professional and social development:

  • Empower students to pursue and successfully earn baccalaureate degrees
  • Provide support for students to develop and achieve their academic goals
  • Develop the necessary skills, knowledge, and attributes to complete a post-secondary education
  • Achieve maximum academic success and career readiness
  • Graduate as skilled, self-actualizing professionals and global citizens who lead through best practices and lifelong learning