DePaul’s Student Support Services Funding Renewed by U.S. Department of Education

DePaul’s Student Support Services (SSS) program is widely recognized for the successful outcomes of its program participants.  That reputation was affirmed this summer when the U.S. Department of Education awarded DePaul a near-perfect score on its grant application and renewed the university’s SSS funding for five years.

SSS is a TRIO program administered by EMM’s Center for Access and Attainment (CAA). It provides advising, academic assistance, mentoring and career-related services to eligible DePaul undergraduates, two-thirds of whom must be both first-generation and low-income per federal requirements.  The program’s ultimate objectives are to increase the retention and graduation rates of participants and help them transition from college to career.  

The SSS grant process is competitive.  Only 65 percent of the nearly 1,500 applications were approved this year.  Federal reviewers cited DePaul’s history of success and accountability in reaching its objectives, as well as the institutional resources the university dedicates to SSS, as key considerations in renewing the grant.  One reviewer awarded DePaul’s application 106 points—a perfect score—while the other two each gave DePaul 104.

CAA proposed ambitious objectives on the application, which must be met every year of the grant cycle in order to continue receiving funding.  The objectives DePaul’s SSS must meet are:
  • 90 percent persistence rate.
  • 94 percent good academic standing.
  • 75 percent six-year graduation rate.
While the objectives are ambitious, they are also achievable given DePaul’s historical success with the SSS population.  In the most recent progress report to the Department of Education, DePaul’s SSS program achieved a 90 percent persistence rate, a 97 percent good academic standing rate and a 79 percent six-year graduate rate during the 2013-14 academic year.  

To learn more about SSS at DePaul, please contact Anita Rosso, director of TRIO Student Support Services.