Published:
Wednesday, June 22nd 2022

KC awarded $1.49M to help low income, first-generation high school students gain access to higher education

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Kilgore College will receive a federal Upward Bound grant of $1,488,005 over the next five years to prepare current high school students who are low-income – or who would be the first members of their families – to enroll and earn college degrees.

KC has provided Upward Bound resources to students from Kilgore ISD, Pine Tree ISD and Longview ISD since 2008.

Since that time, Upward Bound at KC has assisted 274 students to graduate from high school with an overall 80% of graduates enrolling in college.

As one of the federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses.

“The three TRIO Programs housed at Kilgore College (Upward Bound, Student Support Services and the Educational Opportunity Center) have provided vital resources necessary in serving the needs of first generation and low-income college students within our reach of service,” said Bindy Tice, director of TRIO programs at KC. “Since the establishment of the first TRIO program in 2001, Kilgore College has served approximately 2,700 students through these three programs.”

For more information on the Upward Bound program at KC, visit www.kilgore.edu/upward-bound.


About Upward Bound:

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal “TRIO” programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education.

It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

As of 2021, more than 3,000 TRIO projects nationwide serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRIO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.

Upward Bound serves as a vital link for high school students who are low-income and first-generation to access institutions of higher education.

At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree.

Those students who participate in Upward Bound give up six weeks of their summer to attend an intensive summer academic program which prepares them for the next school year.

Students who have put in the time, effort and commitment that Upward Bound requires, have been selected as Dell Scholars, Prep Scholars, Questbridge College Match Scholar to Notre Dame, National Hispanic Youth Leadership Scholars and have seen their Grade Point Averages (GPA) increase with an average program GPA of 3.65.

In 2022, Upward Bound graduated 19 seniors, who were awarded $245,157.00 in scholarships and grants with over one million dollars in renewable scholarships and grants over the next four (4) years. 

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science and foreign language during the school year and the summer.

Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY21, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects in the United States.

Many Upward Bound alumni have gone on to great success, among them Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Correspondent for ABC News John Quiñones and Hall of Fame NBA player Patrick Ewing.