What is STAR TRIO?

TRIO programs are federally funded educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Serving low-income, first-generation, and disabled students, TRIO creates a pathway for success as they progress from middle school through college. See if you're eligible to participate and find a community of support through TRIO!

Are You Eligible to Receive Support From STAR TRIO at Mesa?

Students receiving assistance from STAR TRIO have access to a number of support services and resources to help them navigate their educational journey and succeed academically. In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Be enrolled at Mesa full-time (12 units)
  • Intend to transfer to a four-year university and/or pursue a bachelor's degree
  • Meet federal income guidelines
  • Be a first-generation college student and/or a DSPS student evidencing academic need.

Ready to Apply to STAR TRIO?
If you meet the eligibility requirements to apply, download and complete the Program Application and email the form to

Be prepared to send referral forms from other support services you qualify for (DSPS, EOPS, Promise, etc.) and/or your verification of income (signed income tax return) if requested.

Access the STAR TRIO Program Application

Connect with STAR TRIO

Get remote support:

Call: 619-388-2481 or
Email: or
Visit us in I4-308:
Friday: 8:00am-1:00pm

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STAR TRIO Benefits

Take advantage of the services and support available to students participating in STAR TRIO. Benefits include:

  • Tutoring
  • Academic Advisement
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Financial Aid Assistance
  • Instruction in basic study skills
  • Career and educational information
  • Computer lab with printing
  • Equipment loans - graphing calculator, digital recorder, reference books
  • Variety of school supplies
  • Leadership opportunities

Attend a STAR TRIO Event

Meet the other students and staff that make up the STAR TRIO community, learn how to navigate college, and get tips for how to plan for your future and transferring to a four-year institution. Access the calendar to view a full list of activities and events and get involved!

Access the events calendar

The Origins of STAR TRIO

The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second pre-college outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act.
In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in the series. By the late 1960's, the term "TRIO" was coined to describe these federal programs. STAR is funded 80% with a $293,296 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education, TRIO Programs and 20% with Mesa College funds.

Learn more about the history of the federal STAR TRIO programs
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