Academic Programs for EXellence

Who is APEX?

APEX provides educational opportunities for low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities. APEX is the administrative unit within the University of Kansas that houses the following highly successful academic support programs:

Congress established a series of programs to help low-income and disabled Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs.

What is TRIO?

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students.

Where did TRIO originate?

The TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America. TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Then, in 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, another program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students (later known as Student Support Services), was launched in 1968. Together, this “trio” of federally-funded programs encouraged access to higher education for low-income students. The original three programs has grown to eight, adding Educational Opportunity Centers in 1972, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs in 1976, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program in 1986, Upward Bound Math/Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.

Who is served?

More than 2,800 TRIO programs currently serve close to 790,000 low-income Americans. Over 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges and agencies offer TRIO programs in the United States. Thirty-five percent of TRIO students are Whites, 35% are African-Americans, 19% are Hispanics, 4% are Native Americans, 3% are Asian-Americans, and 4% are listed as "Other," including multiracial students. More than 7,000 students with disabilities and approximately 6,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO programs as well.

Why are TRIO programs important?

In order to foster and maintain a healthy economy as well as compete globally, the United States needs a strong, highly educated and competent workforce. To be par with other nations, the country needs students, no matter their background, who are academically prepared and motivated to achieve success.

Benefits of participating in APEX programs

Students who actively take advantage of APEX services, provided to them at no cost, enjoy benefits including but not limited to:

  • Increased retention and graduation rates
  • Set and meet personal and academic goals
  • A climate supportive of first generation, low-income students and/or individuals with disabilities
  • Centralized location (“home base”) for services and support
  • Social network of peers
  • Guidance from staff members who are motivated and passionate about student success!

*** TRIO SES and TRIO STEM are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Applications will be selected for program participation in compliance with the provisions of Section 427 of the U.S. Department of Education’s General Education Provisions Act (GEPA). Accordingly, access and participation will not be denied to applicants based on gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age.***


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