VCU awarded $1.1 million TRIO grant to increase retention and graduation rates

Virginia Commonwealth University has been awarded a five-year $1.1 million federal TRIO Student Support Services grant to increase retention and graduation rates among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

VCU will use the grant to increase second- and third-year retention rates, increase four-year graduation rates, reduce student loan debt, enhance student personal finance knowledge and create a supportive and progressive culture for all students. 

These goals will be achieved through comprehensive individual and cohort services, including personal coaching and financial planning services; academic assistance in the form of tutoring, course planning and advising; financial aid workshops and seminars; academic and non-cognitive skills assessment and development; scholarship and graduate school resources; and the development of additional services necessary to engage and support participants.

It’s a tremendous award and reinforces our dedication to serving the community.

“It’s a tremendous award and reinforces our dedication to serving the community,” said Luke Schultheis, Ph.D., vice provost for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management.

The TRIO SSS grant is highly competitive and VCU’s submission was fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Grants were also awarded to two other four-year institutions within the state — Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University — as well as 10 Virginia community colleges. 

Student Support Services is one of eight TRIO programs to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

 

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Luke Schultheis, Ph.D., vice provost for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management
Luke Schultheis, Ph.D., vice provost for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management