Upward Bound exists at Indiana Wesleyan University to serve area high school students who may not think a college career is possible for them, but who would love to see a college degree as part of their future. Participants are in grades 9–12 from the following area high schools: Blackford, Kokomo, Eastbrook, Madison-Grant, Marion and Mississinewa.
Students enrolled in Upward Bound receive free tutoring and participate in monthly Saturday Sessions during each academic year of their high school career. Saturday Sessions include career exploration, college visits, study skill training, theatrical presentations and many other activities. Summer participants are eligible to attend a six-week session that prepares them for their next school year and includes many enlightening and fun experiences. As juniors or seniors they are eligible to receive job shadowing (work-study) experiences in the local community and take free college credit classes. Students can also participate in two yearly trips to various places in the United States.
The two most important criteria for being involved in Upward Bound are that parents or guardians did not receive a four-year college degree, and/or that the family meets government income guidelines. Since only two-thirds of Upward Bound students have to meet both criteria, students who meet just one can still apply for Upward Bound. Potential participants must also have at least a 2.5 grade point average (on a scale of 4.0) and have a history of showing they are serious about working hard academically.
Upward Bound participants experience firsthand what college life entails through living on Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus during each summer session and through interactions with IWU students as their tutors and/or supervisors. Best of all, there is no cost for participants and transportation is provided for out-of-county students. Our program is just one of 800 Upward Bound programs nationwide and is funded through the United States Department of Education as one of the federal TRiO programs.