Manhattan, Kan. — A $297,000 Upward Bound grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help Kansas State University continue preparing low-income, first-generation students from four Kansas secondary schools for college.
K-State will use the grant to continue Upward Bound services to students at Clay Center Community High School, Clay Center; Ell-Saline Middle-High School, Brookville; Lincoln Junior and Senior High School, Lincoln; and Newton High School, Newton. The services include academic enrichment courses, personal mentoring and coaching, and assistance with college, financial aid and scholarship applications.
Upward Bound, one of the federal TRIO programs, is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. K-State has been offering the Upward Bound program for 19 years, with the current program based at Kansas State University Aerospace and Technology Campus in Salina. The program is offered through the university’s Office of Student Success.
Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science and foreign language during the school year and a six-week, campus-based summer experience. Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid packages, and scholarship forms.
“Upward Bound affords our students the opportunity to achieve their full potential, exceed expectations and surpass all odds on their journey to success,” said Monshonda Booker, K-State Upward Bound director.
According to the Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In 2021, more than 70,000 students participated in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects throughout the United States and its territories.
“Upward Bound is a powerful way for K-State to live out its mission of service to develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry necessary to advancing the well-being of Kansas, the nation,” said Stephanie Bannister, assistant vice provost for student success at K-State. “Our staff and scholars from the Office of Student Success are excited that this new grant continues this outstanding program.”
In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal TRIO programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 to help students succeed in higher education.