Hampton University Upward Bound Program

Our program is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year!                Begin your Upward Bound journey today!

98% of our participants achieved at the proficient level on state assessments in reading/language arts and math.

79% of our participants have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

What is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound (UB) is one of seven federal TRIO programs funded by the Department of Education to increase college access among low–income and potential first-generation college students.  The purpose of the UB Program at four year institutions specifically, as stated by the U. S. Department of Education, is to generate in target area program participants the skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education and to subsequently enter and earn a post-secondary degree.

The Upward Bound Program was initiated at Hampton University in the 1960s. The program is designed to aid participants in transitioning and completing a post-secondary program of study after graduating high school. The participants must be enrolled in Newport News Public Schools in either An Achievable Dream, Denbigh, Heritage, or Warwick high schools. These four target schools were chosen because of their high need for intrusive academic interventions to help eligible low-income and potential first-generation college students complete high school.

The participants must have a demonstrated academic and financial need, a desire to attend a college/university to earn a bachelor’s degree, and exemplify potentials for success in education beyond high school

What Services Does Upward Bound Provide?

While in Upward Bound, participants will be offered:

  • Academic tutoring
  • Advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection
  • Preparation for successful completion of college entrance exams
  • Information on federal Pell grant awards, loan forgiveness, and scholarships
  • Assistance completing applications for federal student aid, as well as guidance with secondary school reentry
  • Exposure to college tours and cultural enrichment activities, and more


In addition to these services, Upward Bound Program staff will develop a six-week non-residential Summer Enrichment Academy for rising 9th-rising 12th graders with an emphasis on increasing student achievement. Rising freshmen and sophomores will be provided instruction in Math, Science, English, and World Language with course content based on State Assessments and PSAT objectives. Rising juniors and seniors will receive instruction in those same subjects with course content based on state assessments, SAT, ACT, or other college entrance exams. The completion of one full Summer Enrichment Academy during participation in the program is required.

“Over the last two years I have watched my two children blossom thinking more intently about their futures and becoming more social. I am so thankful for all of the eye opening opportunities that have been given, especially the college trips, opening up an endless world in academia.”

“This is an awesome program for students to excel and understand their potential. The program strives to offer the best educational assistance and the best individuals to accomplish their goal.”

“This program has really helped my daughter come out of her shell. When she entered the program she was really shy and soft spoken, and really kept to herself. Now she is confident, voiceful, and even has an idea where she wants to go to college to due to one of the college tours she attended.”

“This program has opened up help with preparing for college, keeping a handle on grades with constructive guidance, and unconditional love and patience.  I’d highly recommend this program.”

Who is Eligible to Join the Hampton University Upward Bound Program?

Each program participant must need all of the following basic eligibility requirements to include residency, age, status, potential, and need:
  • Attend one of the four target schools (An Achievable Dream, Denbigh, Heritage, or Warwick High School)
  • Have a desire to attend a four-year college/university
  • Meet the income eligibility criterion established by current Federal Guidelines
  • Be a potential first-generation college bound student (neither of whose parent (s) received a baccalaureate degree)
  • Be a citizen or national of the United States
  • Be at least 13 years old (and no more than 19 years old) and a rising 9th grader at the time of acceptance
  • Have a need for academic support in order to successfully pursue a program of study in education beyond high school.


Studies reveal that when compared to an equally qualified comparison group, Upward Bound participants are more likely to complete a college degree, enroll in college, and apply for student financial aid.

In FY 2019, 966 Upward Bound Programs received funding in the US and US territories.

Academy Award- and Emmy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett, Gold medalist and basketball player Patrick Ewing, acclaimed actress, Tony, Oscar, and Emmy Awards recipient Viola Davis all participated in the Upward Bound Program!

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