"What does TRiO stand for?"
The following history of the TRiO programs may help answer that question.
The first reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 1968 prompted the TRiO label that continues to be used today. TRiO referred to the three programs: Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Student Support Services, which existed within this reauthorization of the Higher Education Act designed to assist eligible students to begin and complete a post-secondary education.
Upward Bound was created by the Educational Opportunity Act of 1964, the original War on Poverty statute. Upward Bound helps eligible people and veterans prepare for higher education. Educational Talent Search was created by the original Higher Education Act of 1965. Educational Talent Search programs serve young people in grades six through twelve to help them better understand their educational opportunities and options. When the 1968 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act created Student Support Services and transferred Upward Bound out of the Office of Economic Opportunity into the Higher Education Act, the TRiO label was born. Student Support Services helps eligible students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degree.
Not unlike the Big Ten (which is now 11) TRiO is really five programs under one umbrella. The second reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1972 created the Educational Opportunity Centers. Educational Opportunity Centers primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers by helping them to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. Most recently, the fifth reauthorization of the TRiO programs in 1986 created the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. McNair programs are designed to encourage eligible students to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study.
TRiO is our nation's commitment to the dream of education for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances.