Why We Do It

hula hoopingOne of more than 700 similar programs nationwide, Bowdoin College Upward Bound is a TRIO program funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and is designed to motivate and prepare economically disadvantaged high school students for higher education. The staff works with our students to raise aspirations for education beyond high school, and helps prepare both for successful high school graduation and for completion of a degree from an appropriate post-secondary institution.  For many first generation college bound students, information about how to get to college and resources to help them get there are scarce.  Upward Bound is there to provide the encouragement, information and support to remove the barriers they face to obtaining their college degree.

Two-thirds of the students in all TRIO Programs come from families with incomes under $31,000 (family of four), where neither parent graduated from college. Within the Bowdoin College Upward Bound target area, only 22.5% of students go on to college from high school. Students in our program, however, go on to college at a rate of 85%.  Nationally, only 6 % of students from households with similar incomes obtain a Bachelor's degree by age 24.

Group of Upward Bound studentsUpward Bound helps students to succeed in college by several means:

  • Academic counseling assures appropriate course selection in high school to meet college admissions standards
  • Summer residential program gives students an opportunity to experience a taste of college life: living in a dormitory, taking academic courses, balancing school and social lives
  • College counseling helps students identify broad opportunities in higher education
  • Financial aid counseling assists families with finding the means to finance the college education investment

For more information about Upward Bound programs nationwide, visit the Trio Programs web site.