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Upward Bound


Upward Bound is a federally funded educational support program that seeks to assist low-income or first-generation college students in preparing for postsecondary education. This program typically provides tutoring, academic counseling, financial aid guidance, and college preparation services. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants successfully complete secondary education, enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.

Key Takeaways

  1. Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program that provides academic support, college preparation, and educational resources to low-income, first-generation college students, and those with disabilities.
  2. It offers services such as tutoring, counseling, workshops, and summer programs to help participants succeed in high school and prepare for college admission and success.
  3. Upward Bound also provides assistance with college searches, applications, and financial aid processes, ensuring that participants have equal access and opportunities for higher education.


The term “Upward Bound” is important in the context of VA benefits, as it refers to a unique educational program designed to serve low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and military veterans preparing to enter postsecondary education.

By offering a range of services, such as tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and financial guidance, Upward Bound equips eligible participants with essential academic skills and support, boosting their chances of successfully enrolling in and completing higher education.

The program serves as a vital tool for veterans, empowering them to make a smooth transition from military life to the academic world, ultimately enhancing their career prospects and personal development.


The Upward Bound program is designed to serve as a stepping stone for veterans and other eligible individuals in need of educational assistance, offering a transformative experience that opens up new doors and opportunities for success. The primary purpose of the program is to provide guidance, support, and resources for individuals who are seeking to enter or re-enter postsecondary education, particularly those from low-income households or who are potential first-generation college students.

By focusing on the academic, as well as socio-economic and cultural backgrounds of its participants, Upward Bound seeks to empower those facing barriers to higher education and contribute to their long-term personal and professional growth. As a comprehensive and tailored system, the Upward Bound program delivers a wide range of support measures to help participants achieve their educational and career aspirations.

These services include individualized tutoring and advising, assistance with the college application process, financial aid workshops, career exploration, and academic enrichment activities. Furthermore, summer programs held on college campuses offer students a first-hand, immersive college experience designed to ease the transition into higher education.

By fostering a supportive and encouraging environment, the Upward Bound program inspires a sense of self-confidence, determination, and resilience among its participants, ultimately equipping them with the critical skills and mindset necessary to thrive in their academic pursuits and careers.

Examples of Upward Bound

The Upward Bound program, part of the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO programs, is designed to help low-income, first-generation college students and military veterans prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education. Here are three real-world examples involving the Upward Bound program targeting veterans:

Veterans Upward Bound Program at University of Arkansas, Little Rock: This Upward Bound program offers a variety of services including academic instruction, personal advising, career counseling, and financial aid assistance. Their focus is on assisting veterans to develop the academic skills and confidence necessary to enroll and succeed in post-secondary education.

Veterans Upward Bound at University of Pennsylvania: The Upward Bound program at the University of Pennsylvania provides a number of academic support services to veterans, such as tutoring in subjects like mathematics, science, and English, as well as assistance with study skills, time management, and goal-setting. Additionally, the program offers workshops on college admissions, financial aid, and other essential topics related to college success.

Project SOAR (Student Outreach, Access, and Resiliency) Veterans Upward Bound at the University of Hawaii: This program offers academic and personal support services to eligible veterans in Hawaii to help them successfully transition to post-secondary education. These services include academic needs assessment, individualized learning plans, college enrollment assistance, and financial aid guidance. The program also provides participants with tutoring and academic instruction in core subjects, as well as skill-building workshops and personal development activities.

Upward Bound FAQ

What is the Upward Bound Program?

The Upward Bound Program is a federally funded initiative that aims to provide valuable resources and assistance for low-income high school students in their pursuit of higher education. Through academic support, guidance, and opportunities, Upward Bound helps students prepare for college and achieve success in their postsecondary education.

Who is eligible to participate in the Upward Bound Program?

Upward Bound is designed to support high school students from low-income families and potential first-generation college students. Eligible participants must demonstrate academic potential and a strong desire to attend college. Students typically apply to Upward Bound in their freshman or sophomore years of high school.

What services does Upward Bound provide?

Upward Bound participants receive various services, including academic tutoring, mentoring, financial guidance, college visits, and test preparation. Additionally, Upward Bound may offer specialized career or subject-focused programs that align with participants’ interests and goals. These services aim to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in college.

Does participating in Upward Bound guarantee college admission?

While participation in Upward Bound can significantly increase a student’s chances of college admission, it does not guarantee a spot in any particular college or program. Upward Bound is intended to provide resources, guidance, and support, but students must still meet college admission requirements independently and complete the necessary application processes.

Is there a cost to participate in Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is a federally funded program, and its services are provided free of charge to eligible participants. Some activities or events may require small participant fees, but students should not be deterred by cost; financial assistance may be available for those in need.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Educational Opportunity Centers
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
  • VA Work-Study Allowance Program
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program

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