TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Scholars Program

UWA’s TRIO SSS Scholars Program is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The overarching goal of the program is to enable 160 participants annually to persist in college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years. Utilizing a comprehensive array of services, our scholars stay in college and graduate at higher rates than the general student population. 

Services Offered 

As an SSS Scholar, you will be eligible for the following free services and activities: 

  • Help complete KHEAA Verification before you come to campus 
  • Academic Coaching and Tutoring 
  • Academic Advising 
  • Skills workshops 
  • Assistance with FAFSA and federal aid 
  • Budgeting assistance 
  • Graduate school application assistance 
  • Personal counseling 
  • Access to the SSS technology center 
  • SSS grants (see eligibility requirements) 
  • SSS textbook grants 
  • Access to the SSS FLi Society textbook lending library 


Join SSS over the summer before your freshman year and we will work one on one with you to create the best possible schedule for your needs. To be eligible, you must have paid your enrollment confirmation fee and registered for orientation.  

Help Completing KHEAA Verification 

Our staff is available all summer to assist you in navigating the verification process. We are here to answer questions and offer guidance in completing the process as quickly and simply as possible. 

Academic Coaching and Tutoring 

Coaching and tutoring are free and available to all SSS students. Tutoring is offered in most basic curriculum courses and some upper-level courses. Individual or small-group sessions are held in the program’s Tutorial Center and/or online using Zoom as a platform. Our coaches and tutors are high-achieving UWA students who have demonstrated their academic abilities and have shown a strong desire to help others. Many of them are also members of our program. Our coaches and tutors receive initial and ongoing training and support from our staff members. 

Academic Advisement and Career Exploration 

Members receive one-on-one academic advising each semester for course selections according to their majors. Students are encouraged to explore their interests and abilities to develop a clear career development plan with the support and guidance of their academic advisor. 

Skills Workshops 

The purpose of the workshops is to provide additional information that will enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of program participants on a variety of topics, including:    

  • Financial Literacy 
  • Financial Aid Assistance 
  • Study Skills 
  • Stress Management 
  • Choosing a Career 
  • Improving your GPA 
  • Preparing for Graduate School 
  • Study Abroad  

Assistance with FAFSA and Scholarship Searches and Budgeting for College 

All participants are provided with assistance in completing the FAFSA and KHEAA verification and managing their federal aid each year. Our staff members also assist students with scholarship searches, understanding student loans and budgeting techniques. 

Financial Assistance 

The program awards scholarships annually to eligible, active members. To learn more about who is eligible and how to apply click here

Graduate School Applications 

Assistance in searching for and applying to graduate programs is available to all members. Whether you plan on staying at UWA to start your Master’s or intend to pursue your Ph.D., M.D., or other professional degree at another institution, we are here to help. 

Personal Counseling 

Our staff are available to all members in need of support on a variety of issues, problems and concerns. If necessary students will be referred to the UWA Counselor. 

Technology Center 

Members have access to a private computer lab used only by program participants. The room is located in Foust 2A and features new state-of-the-art Dell computers with high-speed Internet access and a high-speed networked printer. Free printing is available and staff members are always on hand to assist. 

SSS Grants 

The UWA TRIO SSS (Student Support Services) program grants thousands in aid each academic year to eligible TRIO SSS Participants.

To be considered for Grant Aid, a student must: 

  • Have an unmet financial need as verified by the UWA Financial Aid Office. 
  • Be in good academic standing and have a semester and cumulative GPA of 2.25+. 
  • Complete all required meetings with the academic counselor. 
  • Attend all required tutoring sessions. 
  • Complete the Grant Aid Application.

Click here to apply for UWA TRIO SSS Grant Aid.

SSS Textbook Grants 

Apply for UWA bookstore gift certificates each semester. 

SSS FLi Society Textbook Lending Library 

Save money on textbooks by borrowing one from our lending library. To stay eligible to borrow you must be active in the SSS student group, The FLi Society. 

Federal TRIO SSS Grant Aid Requirements

CFR § 646.30 (i) Grant aid to eligible students who:      

  • Are in their first two years of postsecondary education and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants under subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the Act; or      
  • Have completed their first two years of postsecondary education and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants under subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the Act if the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that:
    • These students are at high risk of dropping out; and              
    • It will first meet the needs of all its eligible first- and second-year students for services under this paragraph. 

Meet Our Team

Andrea Farquhar,, (205) 652-3628
Schedule a meeting:
Andrea has worked for the UWA SSS grant since 2008, first as our Academic Counselor, then Assistant Director, and now as the Director since 2017. She is responsible for the overall operations of the UWA SSS program.
In her own words… “I believe in the transformative power of education, and feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity work with all our amazing SSS students. They inspire me, and motivate me to advocate for student centered policies that increase persistence and completion rates for all students.”
Academic Coordinator
Daphne Bowden,, (205) 652-3736
Schedule a meeting:
Daphne joined UWA’s SSS program in 2023. She coordinators the SSS Tutoring Center; hiring and training tutors to assess student learning needs and provide tutoring in more than 50 different UWA courses, managing the scheduling for all student tutoring requests, and facilitates a series of academic workshops each year.
Academic Counselor
Pamela Delaine,, (205) 652-3717
Schedule a meeting:
Pam joined the program in 2023. She is the academic advisor for all incoming first-year SSS Scholars. She guides our students through the challenges of college; providing academic, career, financial, social/personal, and graduate school advising. She also works to connect them with all the people, services, and resources available at UWA, to ensure our participants have every opportunity to be successful.
Academic Coach
Jessica Lotz,, 205-652-3712
Schedule a meeting:
Jessica joined the program in the fall of 2017. As our academic coach she works to ensure that advising needs of all our transfer participants are met. She provides academic, career, social/personal, financial, and graduate school advising. She also works to connect them with all the people, services, and resources available at UWA to ensure our participants have every opportunity to be successful.

Contact Us

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-5 PM
Administrative Offices: Foust Hall, Room 6
Tutoring Center: Foust Hall, Room 3
Computer Lab: Foust Hall, Room 2A
(205) 652-3401
Mailing Address
Station 17
Livingston, Alabama 35470


Persistence, Performance, Completion 

Offering a broad array of services and support, our primary goal is student persistence, performance, and completion. These are the goals that we work to achieve or exceed, each year: 

Persistence Goal 

Eighty percent of all participants served by the UWA TRIO SSS Program will persist from one academic year to the beginning of the next academic year, or will have earned a bachelor’s degree. 

Performance Goal 

Eighty percent of all enrolled TRIO SSS participants will meet the performance level required to stay in good academic standing at UWA.  

Completion Goal 

Forty percent of new participants served each year will graduate from UWA with a bachelor’s degree within six years. 

*We have met or exceeded these goals in every year of our grant. 

Interested in Becoming an SSS Tutor? 

Why should you tutor? 

  • Make a difference! Our students most often cite tutoring as the thing that helped the most in earning their degree. 
  • Make some money! Most of our tutors work 15 hours/week. 
  • Looks great on resumes and graduate school applications. 
  • Keeps material fresh for graduate and professional school entrance exams. 
  • We work with your academic schedule. We understand you are a student first. 


  • Provide academic tutoring to program participants and assist in developing study strategies. 
  • Work with the student to develop a tutoring plan and academic goals that fit the student’s individual needs. 
  • Prepare tutoring sessions that ensure the academic development of the student. 
  • Communicate with program staff about the student’s progress. 
  • Maintain up-to-date documentation to track tutee attendance and progress. 
  • Participate in SSS tutor training sessions. 


  • Be an undergraduate student currently enrolled at UWA. 
  • Completed the course you wish to tutor at UWA and received no lower than a B. 
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge and competence in the subject matter. 
  • Enjoy teaching the subject you wish to tutor. 
  • Be able to effectively explain concepts to individuals from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Possess good organizational skills and complete paperwork accurately and in a timely manner. 
  • Exhibit patience and a positive attitude in establishing an encouraging learning environment. 
  • Work collaborative as a member of our team.

NOTE: Those who are SSS members already and/or can tutor multiple courses are especially competitive applicants. 

General TRIO Information

TRIO Programs (Upward Bound and Talent Search) were first funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.  Student Support Services (originally Special Services) was created under the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1968, which resulted in the coining of the term TRiO (the small ‘i’ is used to indicate that the term is not an acronym even though it is usually spelled “TRIO” in all caps).  

The family of federally-funded TRIO programs has since grown to seven with the addition of Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement, Upward Bound Math/Science, and Veterans Upward Bound. 

Student Support Services (SSS) is a college-level TRIO program created to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next. SSS provides a comprehensive range of academic and other support services to enhance students’ academic skills in order to help them reach their educational and career goals. 

Approximately 1,000 community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities now offer TRIO SSS programs across America. TRIO funds are distributed to institutions through competitive grants sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. 

All program services are provided at no cost to participants. 

Council for Opportunity in Education 

The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the United States. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host TRIO Programs to specifically help low-income students enter college and graduate. 

Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel  

The Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) is a non-profit organization of eight states whose members are involved in equal educational opportunity for disadvantaged individuals while advancing the ideals of student access, persistence, and completion of postsecondary education. SAEOPP is dedicated to supporting TRIO Personnel through professional development, education, and activism for TRIO. Our member states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. 

Alabama Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel  

The Alabama Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (AAEOPP) is a non-profit organization designed to bring together into a work and study community those persons who have an active interest in or who are professionally involved in broadening accessibility to and success in formal postsecondary education. 

Donations to SSS will go towards funding scholarships for SSS students, a textbook lending library for first-generation and low-income students, and for the FLi Society to host events on campus to raise awareness regarding all that our first-generation and low-income students bring to our community and campus. Make sure to choose Student Support Services- Fli Society in the “I want to support” box when making your donation.