What is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is a highly successful pre-collegiate program that offers rigorous academic instruction, individual tutoring, and counseling for it’s students. To qualify students must come from a low-income household and/or have the potential to be in the first generation of their families to obtain a degree from a 4 year college or university.

What are the principal reasons for having an Upward Bound program?

There are some students who have potential for success in college but who, for any number of reasons (such as lack of proper educational preparation and/or career education in high school), will not consider going to college. The program strives to unlock each student’s potential through experiences and instruction that is designed to build on the strengths which the student possesses.

Annual Upward Bound program activities

During the summer, Upward Bound students live on the Adams State University campus and are involved in an intensive academic study program with an emphasis on literacy, mathematics, science, and culture. The students academic data is assessed to determine their strengths and weaknesses and then students are placed into core curricula based on those needs. Individual and group counseling is also an important element of the program. Additionally, the students participate in numerous educational and recreational field trips. Upward Bound’s residential program runs six weeks during the summer.

During the academic year, Upward Bound students receive academic instruction with an emphasis on math and literacy skills with additional participation in an extensive career education program. One-to-One counseling is emphasized during the academic year. Counselors follow the students’ progress in high school, and students learn about the college application process and how to apply for financial assistance. Students are involved in a variety of educational activities and recreational field trips, such as ACT preparation workshops, note taking workshops, college course audits, campus visitations, amusement parks, etc…

Does the Upward Bound program provide financial aid for college?

The Upward Bound program does not directly provide any financial aid but is committed to helping students obtain aid from the colleges and universities of their choice. Program counselors assists students with required paperwork and applications to obtain loans, grants, and scholarships.

Additional resources

Act Prep courses – Each Spring the Upward Bound program offers and ACT test preparation class to junior and senior students. College Course Audit- Students in the Upward Bound program have a chance to spend a day on the campus of Adams State University and Audit courses that pertain to majors they have expressed interest in.
Campus Tours – Upward Bound frequently takes trips to tour the campuses of colleges and universities in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
Educational and Cultural field trips – The Upward Bound program strives to provide its students with a diverse set of cultural and educational opportunities as they become available. Past events include: attending plays/musicals, camping trips, going to amusement parks, exploring malls, swimming/water parks, BBQs, formal dining, going to movies, attending professional sporting events, going to concerts, and exploring museums.

How successful is the program?

A recent study found that, overall more than 90 percent of Upward Bound program graduates enter institutions of higher education and are more than twice as likely to enroll in four-year post-secondary institutions as students from similar backgrounds. Four years after high school graduation, Upward Bound graduates were four times as likely to have earned an undergraduate degree as students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in Upward Bound.