Upward Bound is a federally-funded program through the Department of Education. It emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964. The EOA was a response to the War on Poverty first introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Due partly to the success of the Upward Bound program, other programs were added. Talent Search and Student Support Services joined Upward Bound to form the group of college access programs known as TRIO. Educational Opportunity Centers, McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Upward Bound Math/Science, and Veterans Upward Bound programs were later added. While the TRIO family includes more than three programs, the umbrella name of TRIO has remained. All TRIO programs aim to provide educational opportunities to eligible students who may not otherwise have access.
The history of Upward Bound at North Dakota State University began in 1967. At that time, Upward Bound served Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, Edgely, Oakes, and Wishek. In 1999, funding changed to serve the Fargo school district. Now, target schools include Davies, Fargo North, and Fargo South. While the target areas and populations have changed to address the ever-changing needs of the community, the goals have remained the same: To provide educational opportunities to income-eligible and potential first-generation college students so they may succeed in high school and be prepared for success in college.