Hillsborough Community College will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1,891,185.00 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college.

The U.S. Department of Education announced recently that Hillsborough Community College (HCC) will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1,891,185.00 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college.

According to HCC representatives, this amount represents an increase of $64,000 for the grant period of 2020-2024.

HCC received its first TRIO SSS grant in 1974 and for 46 years the program has served more than 8,000 students and boasts a high graduation rate. Over the last five years, student participants were awarded $352,938 in scholarships.

SSS helps college students who are low-income, first-generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses and other forms of assistance.

Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Many Student Support Services alumni have gone on to great success. Among them are Emmy, Tony and Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis; U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District; and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.

SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal ‘TRIO’ programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

For more than 50 years, nationally, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference.

To learn more, visit hccfl.edu.