About Us

The Utah Chapter of ASPIRE is the professional organization that represents the people who proudly work in Utah’s 27 TRIO programs, bringing educational opportunity to the state’s disadvantaged youth and adults. Annually, the organization also finances and awards five scholarships to TRiO participants throughout the state of Utah.

Facts about ASPIRE

Since 1965 an estimated two million students have graduated from college with the special assistance and support of our nation’s TRiO Programs. In addition, one TRiO Program in particular, the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program, is one of only a few programs in America that encourages low-income and minority undergraduates to prepare for doctoral study.

TRIO Programs do not involve a large federal bureaucracy because they are direct grant programs funded in rank order on the basis of competitive proposals. In fact, there is no more than one federal employee for every 28,000 TRIO students now being served. In addition, TRIO Programs only exist where local organizations see the need for such services and have successfully applied for federal support. Despite substantial increases in the number of TRIO students and programs, fewer federal employees are working with TRIO today than 20 years ago.

TRIO Programs protect our federal investment in student financial aid and have helped to reduce defaults in the federal student loan program. Additionally, the federal investment in the UTAH TRIO Educational Talent Search Program is $357 per student, Student Support Services Program is just $1,620 per student, the Upward Bound Program is $4,105 per student, the Veterans Upward Bound is $2,551 per student, and McNair is $8,884 per student. The total federal expenditure for Utah TRIO programs is $8,193,925 and employs over 140 full and part-time individuals.

Like their students, many TRIO professionals had to overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to succeed in higher education. As a result, they can effectively relate to their students and know how to motivate young people and adults in spite of the obstacles that often serve to discourage students from low-income families.