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Upward Bound Program Objectives

The objectives of Upward Bound incorporate measures of success for high school performance, high school graduation, and post-secondary education enrollment and completion.  They include:

1. High School Academic Performance: Participants served will have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.

2. Academic Performance on Standardized Tests:
    High school senior participants will have achieved at the proficient level on state assessments in reading/language arts and math.

3. Secondary School Retention and Graduation:  Participants will continue in school for the next academic year at the next grade level OR will have graduated from secondary school with a regular diploma.

4.  Secondary School Graduation (rigorous secondary school program of study):  Participants will complete a rigorous secondary school program of study and graduate from high school in the year they were expected to graduate upon entry into Upward Bound. 

5. Post-secondary Enrollment:  Participants will enroll in a program of post-secondary education by the fall term immediately following their high school graduation OR have a letter of acceptance but deferred enrollment until the spring semester.

6. Post-secondary Completion:  Participants will attain either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree within six years following high school graduation.

Upward Bound Gets Results

Since its beginning in 1964, Upward Bound has enabled hundreds of thousands of income-eligible students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to achieve their educational aspirations.  Below are some of the accomplishments of the Upward Bound program.

Accomplishments of the NDSU Upward Bound program in the 2015-2016 academic year:

  • 100% of participants were retained and advanced to the next high school grade.
  • 100% of seniors graduated high school in four years.
  • 67% of high school graduates enrolled in post-secondary education for the 2016 fall semester. 

Accomplishments of the Upward Bound program nationwide:

  • 77.3% of participants enrolled in college immediately following their high school graduation.1
  • Participants were 50% more likely to attain a bachelor's degree than nonparticipants.2
  • Participants were 19% more likely to attain any post-secondary degree or credential than nonparticipants.2
  • Participants were 22% more likely to apply for student financial aid than nonparticipants.2


1U.S. Department of Education, Federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound Annual Performance Reports (APRs):  2000-2001 through 2005-2006.
Calahan, M. Do the conclusions change?  The case of Upward Bound, correcting for study error in the 2002-2004 national evaluation of Upward Bound.  Washington, DC: The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in High Education, available at

"Ever since I joined the Trio Upward Bound program, I have seen changes in my own life. Upward Bound has taught me how to better deal with stress, organization, and collaboration. Upward Bound has impacted me in many ways. With the support from the staff, I can now say that I know what I want to do for the future.  They helped me to map out my future."                                            -Upward Bound sophomore

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University TRIO
Information Phone (701) 231-8028
Physical Address: 335 Ceres Hall, Administrative Ave., Fargo, ND 58108
Mailing Address: NDSU Dept #5380 PO Box 6050 Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Friday, January 27, 2017 4:40:25 PM
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