TRiO office is located in Ellsworth Hall. TRiO students are welcomed in the office to ask questions or for support for things such as finances, mental health, or academic support.

“I had no idea ‘first-generation’ was even a term that people used before going to orientation and talking with TRiO about it,” says Public Relations major Mairead Fagan. “After understanding how big of a deal it is, it means so much to me.”

By Mya Vassal

WMU’s TRiO Student Success Program is a learning community of students who are first-generation or income eligible, as well as for students with disabilities. First-generation students in the program shared their experiences of navigating the process of beginning higher education as the first one in their family to do so. The TRiO students face challenges such as learning how to apply to colleges, understanding financial aid, and learning how to live on their own.  WMU’s TRiO students share what the experience has been like for them and the impact it’s had on them.

First-year student Jill Eck from Rockford, Michigan sorts through paperwork from her first-year experience  course that is required for all TRiO students to complete. One of the challenges Eck faced was understanding financial aid, and how it would be possible to afford college. “I feel proud of myself for actually making it here,” Eck says.

Each first-year student in TRiO is required to take First Year Experience. In the course, students learn career essentials such as how to write a cover letter or resume, how to have a successful interview, etc. Students also identify and further develop their CliftonStrengths, an assessment designed to help people pinpoint which of their personal qualities helps them excel.

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