Bree Roberts. Photo by Britney Williams

Bree Roberts. Photo by Britney Williams

Trio-Student Support Services welcomed its newest tutoring and instruction coordinator, Bree Roberts, on Monday, Aug. 28. Roberts was introduced to a plethora of students at ASPIRE’s annual ice cream social. Roberts said she likes the environment because it is very friendly and that is one of the reasons she likes her job so much. In addition to being the newest staff member, she also collaborates with various programs on campus to help ensure students get what they need to succeed while in school here.

ASPIRE is a federally funded program that is nationally known as Student Support Services and it is funded through the Department of Education. Its purpose is to increase the graduation retention rate of students in the program.

Students who are interested in being apart of ASPIRE must be admitted to the university and  enrolled in a degree-seeking program. Once this happens, they can apply by submitting an application online or turning in a paper copy to the ASPIRE office.

Admission to the ASPIRE Program is not automatic. Once the application is completed it will be evaluated for eligibility and need. If admitted, the student will be contacted about the next steps to begin involvement with ASPIRE. (http://legacy.montevallo.edu/sss/application.shtm)

Not only does ASPIRE provide services for tutoring, they also provide services to help students with financial literacy, study tips and time management.

During sessions for financial literacy, they have people from the financial aid office come to show and tell students how to do the FAFSA. Another session features someone from a credit union that teaches students how to budget their money and successfully build their credit.

Denise Myers, Director of ASPIRE says, “We provide services to help them stay in good academic standing so that they can stay in school, so that they can graduate.”

The Student Support Services Grant Aid Award is just one of the many ways they are willing to help students achieve their goals. It provides freshman and sophomore participants who have fewer than 60 credits and who are active in the program a chance to compete for additional financial assistance.

Funding for this award is possible through a small grant from the U.S. Department of Education and is intended to recognize those students who have maintained strong participation in the ASPIRE Program. The grant helps to reduce students’ unmet financial aid need or their loan burden, it helps to improve academic success by helping reduce the number of hours students work and it provides an incentive for students to make timely progress in their degree program and to successfully complete their General Education requirements.

On the condition that sufficient funds are available, applicants who satisfy all scholarship requirements will receive a Grant Aid Award. Award amounts will be determined by the ASPIRE program director Denise Myers, Student Financial Services and the financial need of the applicant. The funds are distributed in April of each year, upon verification of completed requirements.

Student Support Services is located on the lower level of Main Level near the counseling center.