Student Support Services

Student Support Services (SSS) is a student retention program sponsored by St. Olaf College with substantial support from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Northstar STEM Alliance, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) and the Hearst Endowment. The program is designed to help ensure academic success for St. Olaf students who meet federal eligibility guidelines and are committed to enhancing their academic experience at the college level.

The Student Support Services program is one of three TRIO programs originally funded under the Higher Education Act of 1965 whose objective is to help students overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to complete their college education. The program provides services for up to 160 eligible St. Olaf students each year.


The program services range from advising and employment referral to sponsoring leadership activities; from Supplemental Instruction (SI) to graduate school preparation; from textbook assistance to financial aid advising. One of the truly unique features of the Student Support Services program is its Summer Bridge Program which provides qualified students with a jump start on the academic year.

Program Highlights:

  • Student Success Plan
  • Academic Advising and Referrals
  • TI-89 Calculator & Textbook Lending Program
  • Cultural Events and Leadership Activities
  • Financial Aid Advising
  • Graduate School Preparation
  • Recognition for Academic Achievement
  • Research, Internships and Scholarship Opportunities
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI)
  • SSS Supplemental Grant & Hearst Endowment Grant
  • SSS Summer Bridge Program

Congressman John Kline Supports TRIO Programs!

CongressmanJohnKline2011On August 25, 2011, a group of St. Olaf College TRiO students and alumni had the honor to meet with Congressman John Kline.  Congressman Kline, who is also the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, represents the Minnesota 2nd district where St. Olaf is located.  At the visit, the TRIO Alumni and students (Martin Olague—St. Olaf Class of 2004, Bibishe Botembe—St. Olaf Class of 2009, Jackie Yang—St. Olaf Class of 2012 and Pat Tinsley—St. Olaf Class of 2014) told their personal story and the ways that TRiO has impacted their lives and made earning a college degree a reality.  In addition, the group talked with Congressman Kline about the urgent need to adequately fund TRiO so that more students are not cut from the programs.  Between 2006-2010, 36,777 TRiO students lost service due to stagnant funding. In 2011, 70,000 more TRiO students are expected to lose services due to the cut of 26.6 million from the TRIO budget in April 2011.  Congressman John Kline is a strong supporter of TRiO programs and reaffirmed his strong support of the programs during his visit as his quote below demonstrates.

 “I recently had the pleasure of meeting several former Minnesota TRiO students whose powerful stories reaffirmed the important role TRiO plays in helping students successfully pursue higher education.” – Congressman John Kline

Please be sure to thank Congressman Kline for his support of TRiO programs!