Upward Bound, one of eight TRIO Programs funded by the US Department of Education, is a free college preparatory program for qualifying students. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and/or high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. Through Upward Bound, students develop the skills and motivation necessary to ensure their high school graduation, college enrollment and success in pursuing a higher education. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. Upward Bound provides a collegiate environment whereby selected students participate in enrichment courses and activities to prepare them for college.
The Upward Bound program has been effectively working with high school students in Elmira and Groton since 2007. In 2012, Cornell’s Upward Bound program was successfully refunded to serve and was expanded to include Newfield & Spencer – Van Etten School districts. Most recently, in 2017, Upward Bound received another 5 years of funding to continue to provide services to the students and families of these districts as well as being awarded a second grant which increased numbers of students served and allowed the addition of Dryden and Candor school districts.
Our current target schools are Elmira, Groton, Newfield, Spencer Van Etten, Candor and Dryden. These schools collaborate with Cornell Upward Bound staff to provide school and community information that lay the foundation for program support. Every five years, we have the opportunity to renew target school relationships and create new relationships. If you are interested in becoming an Upward Bound Target school please reach out.
High school students in attendance at the target schools listed above are eligible based on a few criteria. First, students are required to be either first generation and/or in a low-income setting. Two-thirds of all students in the program need to be both low income and first generation. First generation refers to the level of educational attainment of a student’s bio-parents. If neither has a four-year degree, the student is considered first generation. Low income is established by a federal scale and is updated annually.
Next, each student needs to submit an application, including a short personal statement, and provide some letters of recommendation from teachers or supporters. Finally, interviews are conducted with students, parent/guardians and UB staff. At that point, students will be notified about their entry into the UB program.
Enrollment is a one-time experience. Once a student is accepted, they are in the program for their entire high school career. Reach out to join today!
Upward Bound employs a large community of Cornell students and community members to facilitate all aspects of our college preparatory program. Staff can be Cornell students at large, students with federal work study awards, community members, and local NYS educators. Upward Bound staff are integral to the delivery of the educational and enrichment services we offer our students. Opportunities for facilitating tutoring, hosting Upward Bound Clubs, designing enrichment programming, supporting program logistics, facilitating career and college exposure programs, etc. are open throughout the summer and academic year. See below for open positions.
Liz Millhollen, Upward Bound Associate Director