Support Services

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TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO is a set of federally funded programs designed to ensure equal educational opportunities. Ellsworth Community College was awarded the five-year TRIO grant in 2010, and was re-granted in 2015 and 2020, related to student support services. TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) inspire and support students in their pursuit of a degree. One step to success in college is to make a connection and feel part of a community. TRIO SSS provides support and services to help 120 students achieve and complete their ECC Degree and transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a Bachelor’s Degree. TRIO-Student Support Services at Ellsworth Community College is a 100% federally funded grant for the amount of $224,429 by the U.S. Department of Education.


Eligibility for TRIO SSS is determined by federal regulations. To qualify, you must be a full-time ECC student, a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree)
  • Have a disability that can be documented
  • Demonstrate financial need (did you qualify for a Pell grant?).

Services TRIO Provides

When you join TRIO SSS you will have these FREE support services available to you:

  • Topic-specific workshops
  • One-on-one advising, including registration and scheduling with SSS staff
  • Transfer counseling
  • Trips to the state universities (Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and University of Iowa)
  • Early registration for ECC courses
  • Grant aid to eligible students (see TRIO staff for qualifying details)

Program Benefits

  • Receive one-on-one advising from TRIO SSS staff who are personally committed to helping you succeed.
  • Meet and build relationships with other students – who are pursuing their college and career dreams just like you – in TRIO SSS social activities.
  • Learn to budget your money now and in the future, understand credit card use, and manage student loan debt.
  • Gain leadership skills that will help you grow inside and outside of college.
  • Get academic and personal support from your very own dedicated SSS advisor.

How to Join

To be considered for TRIO SSS, you must fill out an ECC TRIO Application Form for the corresponding year. Applications can be returned to TRIO Director Molly Hippen. Click to download the TRIO Application. Because this is a federally-funded program, spaces are limited. Please return applications through fax at (641) 648-8596 or mail to Ellsworth TRIO 1100 College Avenue Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126. We encourage you to fill out an application today!