Student Success Spotlight

Tiffany Matthews - Finding Her Way

Tiffany Matthews is a UM junior double majoring in microbiology and laboratory sciences.  Up until the last month of her high school senior year, she wasn’t sure she would attend college.  Tiffany’s dad committed suicide when she was four years old leaving her mother with three children to raise.  Her mom cleaned house, waitressed, and did any jobs that she could manage to support her family.  Growing up in poverty, Tiffany didn’t think college was in her future.

While in high school, she saw a poster about Upward Bound, a college prep program for low income and first-generation students. She signed up and found how much she loved learning.  Upward Bound helped her earn high school credit during a 6-week summer residential program on the university campus.  The program exposed her to what it might be like to be a college student and she traveled to other campuses. Her senior year, UB took a class dedicated to pursuing scholarships and thereafter, Tiffany was awarded a Dell Scholars Scholarship--$20,000 over the course of four years and other scholarships that combined gave her a full ride. 

Upon entering college, Tiffany signed-up with the TRIO Student Support Services program; a sister program to Upward Bound.  TRIO SSS helps first-generation, low-income and students with documented disabilities with the goal to help students persist to graduation.  Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  TRIO SSS offers academic advising, free tutoring, financial aid guidance and counseling, a study skills class called,   Learning Strategies for Higher Education, workshops, academic success coaching and receives outside support for books and technology loans. Students who feel they may need that extra support and guidance while in college should check out the TRIO Student Support Services Program at UM— or call 406-243-5032. 

You CAN be the first college graduate in your family to achieve a college degree through support provided at UM!  Tiffany credits her success in college to the Upward Bound Program for opening doors she never imagined she could achieve.  TRIO WORKS!

Kim Parrow

After 26 years in the beauty industry, Kim Parrow enrolled in the psychology program at the University of Montana in 2010. She surprised herself by receiving two scholarships and a fellowship, and finishing her bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.98. With the encouraging support of UM mentors along the way, Parrow is now pursuing her doctorate in counselor education. Click here to read Kim’s story. Way to go, Kim!  

Roy Savage

Meet Roy Savage, a junior from Missoula majoring in Community Health, who shares his story along with some of the strategies that helped him achieve a 4.0 GPA last fall semester. Click here to read Roy’s story. Keep up the great work, Roy!