Due to a commitment to provide academic opportunities to all Americans, Congress has created assistance for low-income and/or first-generation college students to help them successfully complete community college in order to transfer to a University. At UCC, that program is called TOP or TRiO.

“The TRIO: Student Support Service Transfer Opportunity Program, is a program designed to help students transfer from the community college level to the university level and serve low-income, first generation, or students experiencing a disability, and help them through the whole process,” says Les Rogers, the director of the Transfer Opportunity Program.

The program, known affectionately as TOP, is 100 percent funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and offers a multitude of services to students to help them succeed academically: individualized academic and financial advising, transfer advising, scholarship assistance, peer tutoring, text book loans, university campus visits, cultural and social opportunities, and personal counseling.

This program is furthermore beneficial to those in financial need. “Last year was one of our best years for scholarships. We were over $300,000 for the students that were in our program that actually applied, not including the recipients of the Ford Family Foundation scholarships,” says Rogers.

Elizabeth Hull, a second year TOP participant, has had a good experience in the program. “Les Rogers walks me through the way to apply for college– like U of O, he’s told me every step to take and basically has taken those steps for me so all I have to do is sign the papers,” Hull says.

It doesn’t stop at applying for universities, Hull continues to say, “I had a degree I wanted to go into, and he connected me with certain people and opportunities that would help me, such as volunteer opportunities, for the position that I was looking into.”

To become eligible for TOP, students must meet the federal requirements:

Be a US citizen or resident

Have full time enrollment at UCC (12 or more credits)

Possess academic need

Students must also be experiencing one of the following:

A low-income student who meets federal low-income eligibility

A first-generation college student

A student with a physical or learning disability

For information regarding the TRiO SSS/Transfer Opportunity Program, contact Student Support Services at 541-440-4712 or email at TRiO@umpqua.edu.Student Support Service is located in the Educational Support Building room 10 and room 15.