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First generation students, income-eligible students, and students with documented disabilities can apply to become a TRIO scholar and receive exclusive support services and community benefits.


The TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSS) at Notre Dame College is committed to increasing retention and graduation rates of TRIO Scholars. TRIO empowers our scholars to achieve their academic and personal goals by providing holistic and individualized support services.


TRIO’s Purpose Is To ...

  • Provide opportunities for academic development
  • Assist students with basic college requirements and navigation
  • Motivate students towards the successful completion of their post-secondary education
SSS is one of eight Federal TRIO Programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to increase college retention and graduation rates. The funding helps students achieve their college requirements, assists in academic development and motivates them to persist through challenges to complete their postsecondary education. Notre Dame College’s $1.3 million TRIO grant will build upon the work of two of our existing programs, FirstGen and the Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences. As one of only three private colleges in Ohio to receive an SSS grant, Notre Dame is honored to provide this increased support to our students. 

How We Help …

Student Support Services for TRIO Scholars aim to address the whole student, providing support for both personal and academic ambitions. 


Services Available To TRIO Scholars Include ...

  • Academic Tutoring & Peer Mentoring
  • Exclusive Computer Lab Access and Printing
  • Scholar’s Lounge
  • Academic Advising
  • Educational & Financial Literacy Workshops
  • FAFSA Advising
  • Career & Professional Development
  • Cultural & Social Enrichment Activities
  • Scholarships
  • Leadership Opportunities (Emerging Leaders)
  • Summer Programming
  • National Network/Alumni Association
The goal of these services is to boost your academic success and help you graduate with as little debt as possible. With TRIO, you are connected with a team of faculty and staff dedicated to your success and a community of fellow students who lift each other up to reach their highest potential.

Who Is Eligible?


First-Generation College Student


Income-Eligible College Student


College Student With A Documented Disability

In addition, you must be a citizen or permanent resident in the U.S. and pursuing a bachelor’s degree (or associate’s on the way to a bachelor’s degree) at Notre Dame College.

Application ... How To Apply

The TRIO Application Process Is Simple.

  1. Complete and submit a brief application and eligibility form, including supporting documents.
  2. Wait as your application is reviewed for completion and eligibility.
  3. If eligible, participate in an intake process to determine fit and inclusion.
  4. Enroll as a TRIO Scholar!

Featured Faculty & Staff

Katie Fowler headshot

Alexandra Chestnut, M.Ed.
Interim Director

I am excited to serve as the TRIO Support Services Advisor – Focused on Instruction. I am a first-generation college graduate. I understand how successful students become successful adults and am dedicated to helping support students throughout their academic endeavors. I graduated from Notre Dame College with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, and a minor in Management in 2017. Since then, I have worked as a higher education professional and have experience in enrollment management, student support services and the registrar’s department. I graduated with her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration with academic distinction in 2020 from Tiffin University, and am working toward a second Master Degree in Business Administration at Notre Dame.

Katie Fowler headshot

Medely Gardner
B.A., Advisor

I was born and raised in Boston, Mass. In 2008, I moved to Ohio after completing high school. I attended and graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Business Human Resources. I continued my academic career at Notre Dame College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 2020. I am passionate about helping students achieve their greatest potential by earning degrees and creating opportunities for upward economic mobility. I have positively impacted many students over my 10 years of service in higher education through mentorship and care. I serve as the Financial Aid & Career Advisor for TRIO Student Support Services to continue my work assisting first-generation students and students with disabilities in their pursuit of earning degrees. I also have an active personal life that includes working as a Notary Signing Agent for my own company. I receive tremendous pleasure from helping students and clients. In addition to my business ventures, I enjoy attending sporting events with my husband and two children. 


Ready to become a Trio Scholar?

Accepted/Confirmed/Registered Notre Dame College students can apply by logging onto MyNDC. The link to the application is under “Academic Services” -> “Trio Student Support Services”. If you have any questions, or need assistance in the application, please contact

Faculty and staff members may also refer students who they believe would be a great fit for the TRIO Student Support Services program. Use the form linked below to provide us their information. Thank you for supporting our students!

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