The U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant to Brandeis’ TRIO Student Support Services Program. The grant, worth $1.7 million, will go a long way in supporting this program, according to a Sept. 9 BrandeisNOW article.

The Academic Services website explains that SSSP “is a small, community-oriented program dedicated to working with students who are the first in their families to go to college and those who have overcome significant barriers to attend college.” The federal grant that the program has received will go toward funding the services that SSSP offers, such as peer tutoring and mentoring, various activities and workshops, and career, academic and financial advising.

TRIO SSSP is a federal educational program. Each year, just over 1,000 schools across the country are awarded a federal TRIO SSSP grant to fund their individual SSSP programs, which serve an average of about 200 students at each institution, according to the U.S. Department of Education website. At Brandeis, 150 SSSP scholars will be supported by this program and grant. The students who are accepted into the program are SSSP scholars, some of whom also serve on the Student Leadership Board for the program or work as Peer Mentors.

Many institutions in the country, including Brandeis, have their own individual SSSP, tailored to their students and funded both institutionally and by federal grants. The U.S. Department of Education requires TRIO SSSP programs to offer services like tutoring and advising for students, as well as to provide access to information and education about financial literacy and financial assistance. Additional programming and counseling services are optional projects, but are services that Brandeis provides to students. The University does so both through SSSP and in close collaboration with different organizations the campus has to offer, including the Galaxy Program, the English Language Programs, Student Financial Services, the Brandeis Counseling Center and the Hiatt Career Center.

According to the BrandeisNOW article, the additional grant funding will help SSSP to continue working with these groups to support SSSP scholars. The program “affirm[s] students' personal goals and career aspirations as they strive to dream, persevere and succeed in college and beyond,” per the SSSP website.

Elena Lewis, the director of SSSP at Brandeis did not respond to a request for comment.