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As mentioned in our last blog, The Perfect Equation: Student Support + Grants = Success, grants can be catalysts for implementing innovative student support strategies at your college. If you’re interested in how grant funding can advance your student support mission, we’ve highlighted a few funding opportunities (there are many more out there!) we have experience with. Each of the following programs have an evaluation component that needs to be considered. If you are interested in applying and need help writing the evaluation section of your grant, please contact us!



Funding Agency: US Department of Education

TRiO includes seven federally funded programs that provide opportunity and support to disadvantaged students of various backgrounds—specifically low income, first generation and those with disabilities. Typically, all of the programs provide some variation of these support services: academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and other supports as needed. The program areas are highlighted and briefly described below. I’ve also included links to additional TRiO resources.

  • EOC (Educational Opportunity Centers) focuses on displaced or underemployed workers. It provides assistance with financial aid and college selection. (typically five year grant)
  • SSS (Student Support Services) provides support for low-income students while obtaining a baccalaureate degree. Intended results: higher rates of student retention/transfer, improved GPA, and credit accumulation
  • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement   serves participants preparing for doctoral studies in research and scholarly activities. Goal is to increase Ph.D. degrees in underrepresented populations.
  • Talent Search identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.
  • Upward Bound provides support and preparation for college entry participants.
  • Upward Bound Math-Science strengthens math and science skills of participants.
  • Veterans Upward Bound established specifically to service veteran participants.

Key Dates:

February 28th (annually) recognized as National TRiO Day

Additional Resource links:

TRIO Grantee Training
February 28th National TRIO Day ‘Action Packet’


National Educational Opportunity Centers Association
Council for Opportunity in Education


Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation  

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) was established to assist universities and colleges in diversifying the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Its goal is to increase the number of STEM baccalaureate and doctorate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines including: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders. These two programs are clarified by using the word ‘bridge’ to baccalaureate and doctorate.  I’ve listed the 2018 funding opportunity deadlines.

Key Dates:

2018 Solicitation Dates
November 2 – Bridge to Doctorate  (occurs annually 1st Friday of Nov)
November 16 – Bridge to Baccalaureate  (occurs annually 3rd Friday of Nov)
Link to Solicitation


NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program  

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program was established  to increase success of low income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It provides scholarships to academically talented low-income students and additional advising and student support strategies.

Key Dates:

March 28, 2018 (occurs annually last Wednesday in March)
Link to Solicitation


Past Grant Funding Options

Here are past grant funding opportunities which have a ‘student success’ component in their funding solicitations/programs.  While some of these programs may no longer be available, they may help with student support planning. Typically, these grants provide larger funding awards and/or examples of ‘best practices’ that can be implemented using current college resources.


Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Labor

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants are designed to help workers eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, as well as a broad range of other adults. A key component of the grant includes student success elements such as success coaching / intensive advising and online resources (supplements to classroom).


Single Stop

Funding Agency: Fedcap

The Single Stop program provides student support services in one specific student-centered area such as a community college, community center or other location that can be easily accessed by students. They offer a wide array of services including: tax services, college planning, public funding information (ie. SNAP, CHIP and others) which can offer benefits to students.


I hope this list helps in your pursuit of grants. Please stay tuned for our last feature blog on student support, which will go through a real-world case study of a student support program and how my team approached its evaluation!


Leressa Suber

Leressa Suber is the Evaluation Coordinator with NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions and the IES Evaluation Solutions Group. Leressa works with program and grant evaluations related to workforce development, community college, STEM, and the Department of Defense (DOD). Leressa has background in human resources and adult education. She has a MS Degree in Occupational and Technical Studies from Old Dominion University and a BS in Business Education from North Carolina A&T State University.