ESU Awarded $2.5 Million To Help Low Income, Potential First Generation College Students Access Higher Education

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Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on June 13, 2022, No Comments

The U.S. Department of Education announced that East Stroudsburg University will receive a federal Upward Bound grant of $2.5 million to help more low income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college.

One of the federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

Many national 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.

“Upward Bound program is the longest consecutively funded grant at ESU, and we have built a highly successful program with that funding,” said director Janine Hyde-Broderick. “Upward Bound is entering its 48th year on ESU’s campus and we’ve seen hundreds of students graduate from the program in that time.”

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.

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.

“Upward Bound prepares students for college who may not have ever realized college was a very real path for them,” said Margaret Ball, D.M.A, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This grant will help us continue to allow young people to see their potential, become the first in their family to earn a college degree, and give them the power to elevate their lives.”

“As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

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