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USD Receives Substantial Student Support Services Grant

All the TRIO students and faculty advisors at a 2019 picnic. They stand together in a large group. USD's TRiO program holds a annual picnic to welcome new members (photo taken in 2019).

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota was awarded a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $261,888 from the U.S. Department of Education to help more students succeed in and graduate from college.

The USD SSS program is in its sixth year, and since its inception, the program has helped over 50 students graduate.

“We are so pleased to announce that we have received the Student Support Services grant for another five years,” said Kim Grieve, vice president of student services and dean of students.

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 who have academic need. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, FAFSA and financial literacy advice, career and college planning, and academic advising. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will persist and graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt.

“The best part of SSS is the students,” said Christine Lesher, TRIO director. “These students are full of knowledge, resilience and grit, and when they reach their personal, social and academic goals, the sky is the limit!”

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.

To learn more about USD’s TRIO-SSS, visit


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News