What is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is one of six Federal TRIO Programs developed in 1965 during the Johnson administration's “War on Poverty.” All TRIO Programs are designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds, supplementing their existing education and preparing them for academic success at all educational levels. Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.  


The CUUB Program 

Serving Native Youth

The CU Upward Bound Program (CUUB) recognizes that Native American youth remain the single most underrepresented racial/ethnic group in postsecondary education, and they remain gravely underserved in high school. According to NCES data, in 2014-15, Native students accounted for only 0.6% of all bachelor's degrees conferred to US citizens. Through its unique, innovative programming and pedagogy, CUUB has been working to change this narrative for 40 years.

Since its inception in 1981, the CUUB has dedicated itself to bringing the mission of Upward Bound to Native American youth. CUUB currently serves 103 high school students from 12 high schools located in 6 different tribal communities: Navajo, Ramah Navajo, Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Pine Ridge, and Jemez Pueblo.

Here are just some of CUUB's achievements from the 2015-16 school year:

  • GPA Above 2.5:

  • HS retention/graduation: 99%
  • Postsecondary enrollment: 65%
  • Postsecondary graduation: 22%

Services and Resources Provided

During the academic year, CUUB provides students with the resources and support they need to successfully navigate high school and thus prepare for their unique postsecondary paths. CUUB also offers students an intensive, 6-week Summer Academic Program, held on the CU Boulder campus. The Summer Academic Program is designed to give students the experience of living in a college atmosphere before graduating from high school.

CUUB provides instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature, and foreign language throughout the academic year and during the six-week Summer Academic Program. Other services include:

  • Instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and other subjects necessary for success in education beyond high school
  • Academic, financial, and personal counseling
  • Exposure recreational and cultural events
  • Tutoring services
  • Mentoring programs
  • Information on postsecondary education opportunities
  • Assistance in completing college entrance and financial aid applications
  • Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams
  • Work study positions to expose participants to careers requiring a postsecondary degree

11 students making the human pyramid all smiling and facing the camera


CUUB Scholarship Fund

In partnership with the American Indian Graduate Center, CUUB has created a scholarship fund which will be awarded to CUUB Alumni. Donate to the Scholarship Fund! By donating to the Upward Bound Program Scholarship Fund, you are creating opportunities for high school students to prepare for college. Not only will students be inspired and empowered to succeed but they will aslo be given a chance to celebrate their cultural identities in whatever postsecondary path they choose. Your generous gift will create valuable experiential learning opportunities as well as promote success in pre-college performance. Please visit the following link to donate to the Scholarship Fund