TRIO Programs

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) at RVC serves over 240 low-income, first-generation students, and/or students with disabilities each year.

The program provides holistic and comprehensive advising and instructional support, in order to help undergraduate students be successful at and graduate from Rock Valley College. Student Support Services is part of TRIO, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.Please note: admission into TRIO is not automatic.

Apply to TRIO SSS

Contact Us


TRIO programs have a rich history dating back to 1964, and continue to open the door of opportunity and access to higher education for eligible students across the nation regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture. First awarded to Rock Valley College in 2015 and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO Student Support Services provides individual and group services to students so that they may overcome class, academic, social, and cultural barriers to complete their education.

  • TRIO Complete supports first-generation, low-income, and/or students with disabilities. 
  • TRIO Achieve focuses on support for students with disabilities. 

To qualify, you must:

  • be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment at Rock Valley College
  • be a U.S. citizen or National of the United States or meet the requirements for federal student financial assistance
  • demonstrate academic need
  • have at least ONE of the following apply to you:
    • You are a first-generation college student (neither parent nor guardian has a bachelor's degree)
    • You are in financial need ("low-income" according to federal guidelines)
    • You have a documented disability defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act and verified by Disability Support Services at RVC

TRIO assigns each student with an academic advisor/life coach who will help guide them throughout their academic career at RVC. Their advisor will work with the student to develop a plan for academic success that, if they work hard and stay on track, will lead to graduation and continued success at a four-year college or their chosen career.

In addition to the increased mentoring and support provided by program advisors, other TRIO services include:

  • Tutoring
  • Pre-academic advising
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Social networking
  • Financial aid assistance
  • Life coaching
  • Financial & economic literacy workshops
  • Academic goal setting
  • Study skills workshops (ex., time management, note taking, improving study habits)
  • Career exploration
  • Limited laptop lending program
  • Summer learning community for entering freshmen

Schedule TRIO SSS Appointment

Please note: To schedule an appointment with a TRIO Tutor, you must be a TRIO Student. Tutors may also be reached at (815) 921-4134.


TRIO Upward Bound

The Upward Bound (UB) program is a federally funded TRIO program dedicated to the preparation for, admission to, and successful completion of a college degree for eligible high school students. Upward Bound (UB) is one of the oldest and most successful college preparatory programs of its kind in the nation. Through intensive academic support and exposure to the college-going experience, Upward Bound equips students to enter and succeed in higher education.

Contact Us

  • Melayna Rottmann
  • Project Coordinator, TRIO Upward Bound
  • (815) 921-4107
  • RVC Main Campus
    Student Center, Second Floor

Program participants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and must meet the following criteria:

  1. Attend Rockford Auburn or East High School
  2. Completed 8th grade but have not completed high school
  3. Be a potential first-generation college student: A student whose parents have not received a bachelor's degree; or
  4. Be a low-income student: A student whose family meets federal income eligibility guidelines as verified by Rock Valley College.
  5. An individual who has a high risk for academic failure.

Academic Preparation for College

  • Academic workshops
  • Tutoring and homework help sessions
  • 6-week academic summer program on RVC’s campus
  • Summer Bridge Program available for UB participants the summer after high school graduation prior to college enrollment

Educational and Career Planning

  • Academic advising
  • Personal development and life skills workshops
  • College and career planning workshops
  • College visits, cultural enrichment activities, and special events

College Admissions and Financial Aid Information

  • Preparation for ACT, PSAT & SAT
  • Individual assistance with college admissions applications
  • Individual assistance with scholarship & financial aid applications

  1. Complete the online TRIO Upward Bound application. Please complete this with a Parent or Guardian.                                                  
  2. Your school will be contacted for recommendation forms, transcripts, test scores, and any IEP or alternative learning arrangements.
  3. Once we have received all of these items, we will contact the applicant to arrange an interview.

Note: Admission to the TRIO Upward Bound program is not automatic. Completed applications will be evaluated for eligibility and admission. If admitted, you will be notified about the next steps to begin your involvement with the program. Admission to either of the SSS programs is not automatic.

Eagles Nest Food Pantry

This program collects and stores foods to distribute free-of-charge to ALL RVC students.

Access Food Pantry Resources