First Gen College Students and Disabled Students Offered Assistance At FSCC


Federal Student Support Services grant awarded every five years

 The U.S. Department of Education announced that Fort Scott Community College will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $260,839.00 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. Fort Scott Community College has had a TRIO Student Support Services Program for over 20 years. In the 2018 academic year, FSCC’s SSS program helped 80 students Graduate from FSCC with an Associate’s degree or certificate; 64 of those students transferred to a 4-year university.

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 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.

“We’re very excited to be funded for another five years. We believe we provide great quality services to help our students be successful while they are here at FSCC and beyond. Our program is unique because it is a place everyone on campus can feel connected. We have traditional, non-traditional, local, out-of-state, athletes, fine arts, and agricultural students in our program,” says Holli Mason, Director of FSCC’s Student Support Services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 50 years, 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.

For more information on FSCC’s TRIO Student Support Services, go to or contact Holli Mason at [email protected].




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