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STEP aims to help students attain better understanding and exposure to opportunities that will enrich their learning and academic success, ultimately to increase retention and graduation rates among its participants. We provide enhanced academic and co-curricular support services to resilient students who are first-generation, low-income, and students with disabilities. 

STEP is a federally funded TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program (under U.S. Department of Education). 

The program was launched in 2016 under the Calvin E. Bright Success Center at UC Merced.



1) Academic Development and Support

2) Financial Aid Literacy & Education 

3) Career and Graduate School Exploration, Planning, and Visioning

Benefits of Being a STEP Scholar

Field trips to regional academic conferences & cultural arts events

Career professional interaction opportunities

Individualized counseling & Peer Advising 

Financial literarcy & skills building workshops

Loan Program (Laptops, Clickers, Headphones)

Access to our STEP library which includes: Kaplan practice exam books (GRE, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, DAT, etc.)



Eligibility requirements are set forth by the Federal TRIO Programs (TRiO), a federally funded agency by the US Department of Education. Students must be:

• US Citizen / Permanent Resident AND

• First generation and/or

• Low-income and/or

• Have a documented disability

Become a STEP Scholar:

Find out what STEP does and if it's right for you!

(1) Complete our Online Application