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Upward Bound program receives $2 million grant

By Bradley West '13
June 26, 2012

The United States Department of Education recently announced its decision to renew funding for St. Olaf College's TRiO Upward Bound program. The program, which has been at St. Olaf since 1989, is now slated to get nearly $400,000 per year over the next five years.

Upward Bound will use these federal funds to continue helping low-income and first-generation college students from St. Paul prepare for college. Each year the Upward Bound staff will work with 88 students from St. Paul Humboldt and St. Paul Central high schools, both of which are in economically depressed areas where students face significant barriers to higher education. Upward Bound's goal is "to generate the skills and motivation necessary for these students to achieve postsecondary success" despite the social, economic, and cultural barriers that may block the way.

To achieve this goal, the program offers tutoring sessions, academic advisor meetings, college entrance exam workshops, and monthly seminars that help students navigate the college application process. Students in the program also go on college visits and cultural field trips, and learn how to begin planning for a future career. In addition, Upward Bound runs an intensive six-week academic summer program on the St. Olaf campus that prepares students for success in higher education and gives them a taste of college life.

About 95 percent of high school students who complete St. Olaf's Upward Bound program enroll in a postsecondary institution.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or