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Upward Bound is a federally funded educational program within the United States. The program is one of a cluster of programs referred to as TRIO, all of which owe their existence to the federal Higher Education Act. Upward Bound programs are implemented and monitored by the United States Department of Education. The goal of Upward Bound is to provide certain categories of high school students better opportunities for attending college. The categories of greatest concern are those with low income, those with parents who did not attend college, and those living in rural areas. The program works through individual grants, each of which covers a restricted geographic area and provide services to approximately 50 to 100 students annually.

Most Upward Bound programs combine two approaches to student contact:

  1. a summer program where high school students take college prep classes and earn work experience at a college campus for six weeks
  2. weekly follow up and possibly tutoring with students during the school year.

A study released by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) in 2004 entitled A Profile of the Upward Bound Program: 2000-2001 provides a detailed analysis of program demographics. Considerable challenge has been made regarding the effectiveness of the program. However, the long term impacts of a social services program such as Upward Bound are very difficult to ascertain, and a recent attempt to do extensive controlled studies was cancelled due to concerns over the ethical ramifications of recruiting control students for a program knowing that they would never receive services.[1]

The program was launched in the 1965 with an annual budget of circa $250,000,000. Awards are usually made to institutes of higher education (universities), but some awards have been made to other non-profit organizations such as tribal organizations. Each award made averages $4,691 per participant, with the most common award providing $220,000 per grantee in 2004 and $250,000 in 2007. Awards are for four or five years and are competitive. The law providing for Upward Bound is 34 CFR Ch. VI Pt. 645. As federal education grants, Upward Bound awards fall under EDGAR and OMB Circular A-21 financial guidelines.

Upward Bound grants are results-based, with the level of success determined largely from highly-structured annual reports compared to grant objectives.

There are three divisions of Upward Bound:

  1. Upward Bound Classic for high school students
  2. Veteran's Upward Bound for U.S. military veterans
  3. Upward Bound Math and Science organized as regional centers for supporting these areas of study among high school students.

Upward Bound is part of the Federal TRIO Programs, which include Upward Bound, Veteran's Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program, and Upward Bound Math and Science.

Here is a list of some of the Upward Bound programs:

  1. Lincoln Memorial University Upward Bound
  2. Leeward Community College Upward Bound
  3. University of Delaware Upward Bound
  4. University of Minnesota Upward Bound
  5. Northfield Mt. Hermon School Upward Bound
  6. SwVCC Upward Bound
  7. Houston Community College*Central Upward Bound
  8. College of the Mainland Upward Bound
  9. AACE Upward Bound
  10. USF Upward Bound CP
  11. NY Upward Bound (Genesee Community College/Wyoming County-Perry, Warsaw, Attica and Letchworth) The office for theses four areas is located in Warsaw.
  12. Luther College Upward Bound CP
  13. Carl Sandburg College Upward Bound CP
  14. Wittenberg University Upward Bound
  15. East Tennessee State University Upward Bound
  16. University of Vermont Upward Bound
  17. University of Maine Upward Bound
  18. Ohio University Upward Bound
  19. Shawnee State University (Ohio) Upward Bound Program
  20. RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE UPWARD BOUND CP
  21. UTEP Upward Bound Program CP
  22. Coe College Upward Bound
  23. Bowdoin College Upward Bound
  24. ISU Upward Bound
  25. Nevada Upward Bound
  26. University of Southern Maine Upward Bound
  27. University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) Upward Bound
  28. WVU Tech Upward Bound CP
  29. Eastern Kentucky University UB [1]
  30. Harvey Mudd College
  31. Rogers State University Upward Bound
  32. Oklahoma State University Upward Bound
  33. Michigan State University Upward Bound
  34. Pikeville College Upward Bound
  35. Virginia Tech Upward Bound
  36. Baldwin Wallace College Upward Bound
  37. Western Nebraska CC Upward Bound
  38. Southwestern University Upward Bound
  39. California State University, Long Beach Upward Bound
  40. Occidental College Upward Bound
  41. California State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Upward Bound
  42. University of California, Irvine Upward Bound
  43. Indiana Wesleyan University Upward Bound
  44. University of Oklahoma, Sooner Upward Bound
  45. Cornell University Upward Bound
  46. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  47. Pima Community College Upward Bound
  48. Western Kentucky University Upward Bound
  49. North Carolina State University Upward Bound

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