TRIO, I Choose You!Are you from an economically underprivileged home, or a first generation college student who needs help from the TRIO program? Well too bad, because the TRIO program was shut down the first week of school. TRIO has been an active part of Yuba College, offering programs such as Student Support Services and transfer opportunities. If you received a letter stating that SSS was no longer available, then you are one of the lucky students that got screwed by lack of government funding.TRIO is a federally assisted program so in order to continue to receive funding, there is certain criteria that needs to be met. The state mandates they have Readers read over statistics and information given to them by a program applying for the grants. Readers gather information and score on things such as number of students dependant on the program, the amount of people involved in the group, the success of students in the program, and smaller things such as grammar, margins, and length of the proposal. A passing score is a 96.The Readers provided the TRIO program with thirteen extra credit points for having such high performance, but the program still fell short by two points, with a score of 94.67, causing loss of funding for the next 4 year cycle. We now have fewer programs to assist students who are trying to move on to universities and other colleges.The Transfer Center, which many of you know already closed last spring, was designated to helping students figure out what classes were needed to transfer to the university of their choice. The TRIO program worked closely with the transfer center, actually taking students around to visit other campuses to become familiar with them. This gave students the information needed to make an informed decision on which college to transfer to, therefore ensuring a smoother transition during and after the process. When the head of the Transfer Center retired, leaving students to fend for themselves, TRIO stepped in and offered transfer services for students that were already enrolled in the center. David Perez, head of Student Support Services for the last four years states that, “With the budget cuts in almost every department, student services have become scarce and the situation seems dire.”Perez is ready to fight for this program because he believes in the services it provides. The students on the program have showed success with higher GPA’s and a higher transfer retention rate. An appeal has been submitted, however, even if the appeal is successful it will be several months before the program is up and running again. Other members of the staff agree that the program plays an important part in the schools transfer opportunities.It was through TRIO that student Cassie Leel realized she was destined for Sacramento State. Leel was accepted to Sac. State last semester and now tutors here at our college. When asked what she thought about the program losing its funding, she said, “The program was there for students to benefit from. It was a great program, I am proof of what it is capable of.”Another student who succeeded through the help of TRIO was Mike Serpah, Leel’s cousin. Serpah was accepted to UC Davis. Although he was unable to speak with us, his cousin assured us he was thankful to TRIO and the staff that runs it for all the help they have given him.