What exactly is SSS?

Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally-funded grant program that offers a myriad of services designed to assist 200 Southeast students who are first-generation college students, and/or are income eligible and/or have a documented disability be successful in graduating from college.

What does first-generation mean?

First-generation is defined as any student whose parents, both mother and father, natural or adoptive, have not graduated from a four-year institution of higher education.

How is low-income defined?

Low-income status is based upon guidelines published annually by the U.S. Department of Education. The term “low-income individual” means an individual whose family’s taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

How does a student “document” a disability?

A student completes a registration process that begins by contacting the Disability Services staff in Dearmont Hall Wing B1.

How does a student become a member of SSS?

Prospective participants must complete an application process. Application to SSS does not guarantee admission to the program. The process includes gathering information from the student and through the Banner system.

The student must complete an application form, participate in an intake interview, and complete two assessment inventories. In conjunction, SSS staff verifies income status via FAFSA, reviews ACT and ASSET scores, high school GPA, college transcripts, and completes an assessment of need on each intake.

After this information is compiled, the Director reviews it and makes a decision as to who will be admitted. A student must demonstrate academic need as well as potential to graduate in order to qualify for admission to SSS.

What is required of an SSS program participant?

Program contact requirements vary by student classification and status (Fr/So, Jr/Sr, probation/good standing). Required contacts include face-to-face meetings with program staff and participation in academic skills and personal enrichment workshops (College Success Seminars).

How long can a student be a member of SSS?

A student can remain in the SSS program until he/she graduates from Southeast. Participation is voluntary and a student may withdraw from the program at any time. However, if a student has been “inactive” longer than a regular semester, he/she may be required to re-apply.

What services are provided by SSS?

The list includes, but is not limited to: tutorial services, College Success Seminars, access to a computer lab with free printing, supplemental academic advising and career planning, referrals to campus resources, and resource library with graduate exam preparatory manuals, cultural enrichment activities, and the potential to qualify for supplemental grant aid.

Are the services free of charge?

Yes, all services are free of charge to program participants and are provided through Federal funding.

Does SSS provide scholarships or financial assistance for its participants?

SSS offers a Supplemental Grant Aid program, which is supplemental financial assistance available to SSS participants who qualify. All students are considered for this assistance after completing one semester in the program. However, based upon federally determined requirements, only a small percentage (usually about 10%) of participants qualify for this service. Therefore, students seeking only financial assistance from the program are not encouraged to apply. SSS does not offer anything known as a first-generation or beginning freshman scholarship.

What is TRiO?

The Federal TRiO programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Initially, there were three such federally-funded grant programs born out of the Higher Education Act of 1965—thus, the name “TRiO.”

TRiO programs now include: Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement programs, Student Support Services, Talent Search programs, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Science, and Veterans Upward Bound.

Funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Education, TRiO programs are committed to providing educational opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance.

Image of the TRIO Logo


University Center 206
Student Support Services
One University Plaza, MS 1350
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701