Rider awarded a new Student Support Services/TRiO grant

Grant provides funding for 5 years
Adam Grybowski

Rider University's Student Support Services Program has been awarded a new federal grant sponsored by the United States Department of Education. The grant is funded for five years, from 2020 through 2025.

The grant assists low-income, first-generation students at Rider, as well as those who are homeless, veterans and individuals with disabilities to develop the academic, social, intellectual and emotional skills to help them find success in college. 

The total award of $1.6 million will be distributed over the next five years to provide orientation activities, workshops, services and other resources to help students transition to Rider and integrate successfully into the University community. 

“This is incredible news and a testament to the outstanding work of the Student Support Services staff and other campus colleagues in promoting the success of students,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Leanna Fenneberg.

The Student Support Services Program, commonly known as SSS, has been operating at Rider since 1993. It is one of seven federal programs known as TRiO. Collectively, they are designed to help students who are at risk prepare for and complete a college education.

In addition to SSS, Rider participates in one other TRiO program, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which began at Rider in 2007. The work of these programs directly advances goals in the University's Inclusive Excellence Plan.

The SSS Program currently serves 150 students at Rider. Among them is Tyler Espinosa, a member of the Class of 2022 who is majoring in psychology.

“Student Support Services helped jumpstart my college experience at Rider University," Espinosa says. "Not only were they there for me since the very beginning, they have consistently been by my side throughout all of my years at Rider. Thanks to their academic, social and financial support, there is nothing that will stop me from succeeding.”

Every five years, the SSS staff participates in a rigorous competition to regain funding for Rider’s SSS and McNair programs. More than 1,700 submissions were received by the Office of Postsecondary Education, of which 1,132 applicants were funded during this SSS Competition.

“I am truly happy and proud that our hard work paid off,” says Rider SSS Program Director Queen Jones. “This new grant will allow my staff to continue providing excellent programs and services that inspire our students to acquire a bachelor's degree and beyond.”

New Jersey has 16 SSS programs in total, including three new programs that launched this year.