CUUB Program Overview

What is the mission of CU Upward Bound?

All Upward Bound programs are designed to help first-generation and low-income students prepare for postsecondary education (see our About page for more details), but the CU Upward Bound (CUUB) program has a unique history of serving Native American youth in particular.

What this means for our mission is that indigenous perspectives and practices are at the center of everything we do. In short, our mission goes beyond helping our students prepare for college--CUUB is dedicated to helping students challenge themselves academically in a new environment, protect their cultural identities, and connect with real world indigenous issues. We help students define success on their own terms, and we commit ourselves to supporting all CUUB students beyond high school graduation and college acceptence. 


Are there GPA requirements for being eligible to apply for CUUB?

GPA does figure into your application, but there is no GPA minimum that would make a student ineligible to apply to CUUB. In short, students must satisfy low-income or first-generation status requirements and attend one of the 12 CUUB partner schools. Visit our Eligibility page for more information.

CUUB is designed to help students define and follow their own postsecondary paths to success. Again, there is no minimum GPA a student must have in order to be eligible to apply, but students must demonstrate in their CUUB application that they are dedicated to bettering themselves, interested in higher education, and willing to become an active member of an academic community. So if you are an eligible candidate and are interested in joining our program, we don't want anything holding you back--send us your application!

What happens if I am accepted into the program but I transfer schools?

Don't worry! You're still a member of CUUB. Once accepted, students remain enrolled in the program no matter where they move or what schools they transfer to. 

Academic Year Services

How does CU Upward Bound support its students throughout the academic year?

The CU Upward Bound (CUUB) Program is unique in that we serve students from twelve target high schools located on/near six of the American Indian reservation communities that we have partnered with over the 30 years of our program's existence. As a result of the distance between the CUUB program and the students it serves, CUUB has developed innovative methods for delivering its academic and support services remotely.

For instance, all CUUB students have access to high quality learning modules through CUUB's partnership with OnTrack to Postsecondary Education. These modules are designed to help students from grades 9-12 navigate high school and set themselves up for college success. CUUB participants are also provided with numerous support services, including text message reminders for important deadlines and opportunities, college admissions mentorship for rising seniors, and more. 

Furthermore, beginning September 12, 2018, CUUB will also be offering weekly online tutoring sessions via Zoom every Wednesday from 7:00PM-9:00PM MST.

Finally, CUUB's Directors visit each target high school twice per semester to provide in-person community workshops on topics ranging from financial aid, to personal statement writing, to succeeding in college while honoring and developing cultural values and identity.

As a CUUB Student, what do I need to do during the academic year to remain in good standing with the CUUB program?

First, remember that once you are accepted into the CUUB Program, you're in for good! No need to reapply each year, even if you move or transfer schools.

CUUB students receive a monthly stipend of $20 and access to many helpful CUUB services just for being a part of the program. But being a CUUB student means holding yourself accountable to CUUB's expectations and guidelines, and thereby remaining in "good standing" with the program. All of this is more thoroughly explained in the CUUB Student Handbook which all students receive, but in general, the keys to staying in good standing with the program are:

  • Stay in school. If you drop out of school or do not graduate on time, CUUB will offer you assistance with GED programs or reentry into high school. But you will not be able to take full advantage of everything CUUB has to offer unless you stay in school.
  • Complete your monthly homework assignments. CUUB students must complete four learning modules through OnTrack per month. This is our way of tracking "attendance" in the program throughout the academic year--if you are doing your OnTrack Assignments, we count you as active in the program. Failure to complete these assignments result in a phone call from the CUUB Directors, who will ask the student if they are still interested in participating in CUUB or if there is something preventing their access to OnTrack. 
  • Meet with your Site Coordinator. We encourage students to meet with their Site Coordinator once per week, but require students to meet with them twice per month. Students must make the time to meet with Site Coordinators in order to have their progress tracked by the program, and to receive necessary support from the school or from CUUB. Site Coordinator meetings can be opportunities to complete OnTrack assignments, get in person tutoring (if offered by the school), learn about counseling resources, and more.
  • Stay focused & stay in touch. We know that high school is difficult and stressful for many reasons, but we fully believe that all CUUB students have everything it takes to succeed in school and set themselves on a path for success and happiness beyond graduation. If you find that your grades are slipping or stress is too difficult to manage, we are here for you. Take advantage of CUUB's tutoring/mentorship resources to get yourself back on track, or reach out to the CUUB Directors through email or through SignalVine for more personalized support.
  • Uphold the O.U.R. F.I.R.E values of the CUUB program. We explain what this means in greater depth during the summer, but in short: all CUUB participants are expected to be exemplary representatives of the CUUB community during the academic year, which means living the O.U.R. F.I.R.E values and becoming active role models.
What exactly is OnTrack, and why does CUUB use it?

OnTrack is an e-learning platform designed to offer students a step-by-step guide to finding success in postsecondary life, whether in college or in the workforce. This means helping students understand what they need to be doing at every stage of high school to put themselves in the best position for success down the road. OnTrack offers weekly, grade-specific modules to help students better navigate high school, with topics ranging from understanding the importance of GPA, to developing better study skills, to dealing with bullying and cyberbullying. 

CUUB has partnered with OnTrack because we understand that high school can feel confusing and overwhelming at times, so it will be tremendously helpful to have a resource that gives students a sense of what they need to be focusing on at any given time. Furthermore, OnTrack provides us with an easy way to maintain correspondence with our many CUUB students despite the great distances between our target high schools and the CUUB offices in Boulder. 

What happens if I have difficulty accessing or completing the OnTrack modules?

CUUB provides CUUB Chromebooks for all of its participants, which can be checked out from the Site Coordinator at your school / in your area. Our hope is that these devices will help students access the OnTrack modules more easily, but we understand that web connectivity may still pose a challenge. Currently, the CUUB Program is working on alternate assignments to the OnTrack modules, for students who have difficulty accessing the modules or who simply dislike the online learning platform. 

The goal of the alternate assignments would be identical to that of the OnTrack modules: help students stay connected with the CUUB program and focused on their personal, postsecondary trajectory. As long as we see that students are making the effort to complete their assignments, we will consider them active participants in the program and will work with them so that they can complete the assignments on their own time / in their own ways. 

I'm a CUUB Student and I saw that I need to meet with my Site Coordinator 2-4 times per month. Why do I need to do that?

We understand that for many of our students, meeting with a teacher or counselor on a regular basis is a new experience, which can make this particular requirement of the CUUB program difficult or uncomfortable. But CUUB knows that students who meet with someone like a high school counselor regularly are much more likely to find postsecondary success. Nothing can replace one-on-one interaction and counseling as far as college prep goes, and the CUUB Site Coordinators are able to provide that service to our students year round. 

Furthermore, we establish this practice of meeting with the Site Coordinator very early on: all participants, including our CUUB Freshmen, are required to meet with Site Coordinators to make sure they are on a college-ready path. According to a study from the National Association for College Admission Counseling 

Among students who had not met with a counselor in ninth grade to discuss going to college, 77 percent met one on one with a counselor in 12th grade to discuss college admissions (Figure 2). In comparison, 83 percent of students who did meet with a counselor in ninth grade to discuss going to college met with a counselor to discuss college admissions in 12th grade. The regression results confirm this finding, indicating that students who met with a counselor in ninth grade to discuss going to college had 27 percent higher odds of meeting with a counselor during 12th grade to discuss college admissions.

This is exactly why CUUB places such strong emphasis on Site Coordinator visits. If they can be done weekly, they should: your site coordinator can help you identify your obstacles (whether academic, personal, extracurricular, or financial) and can connect you with the proper resource (tutoring, financial aid info, mental health counseling, etc.).

Note: if you meet with your Site Coordinator one week, and they determine that you should go to tutoring the following week, that tutoring session will count as one of your site coordinator visits. It is up to you to make the most of the incredible resource that your Site Coordinator can be for you, and to build a strong relationship with them that will have immeasurable benefits for your future success.

Summer Academic Institute

How long is the Summer Academic Institute?

The CUUB Summer Academic Institute lasts six weeks each summer, running from early June to late July each year. 

Does it cost anything to attend the Summer Academic Institute?

No--all costs of participating in the summer program (including room and board, tickets and transportation for all CUUB recreational activities, and access to the CU Boulder Rec Center) are fully covered by the CUUB Program. 

The only cost that CUUB participants and family members need to concern themselves with is the cost of travel to and from Boulder. Still, some CUUB partner schools provide transportation for their students, and the CUUB Program may be able to subsidize travel costs in certain cases (contact the CUUB Directors for details). 

Furthermore, students receive a weekly stipend of $20 throughout their time in the summer program. $120 across the six weeks of the program will assist students with miscelaneous expenses like laundry, off-campus dining, souvenirs, etc.

What exactly does the Summer Academic Institute entail?

The CUUB summer program is filled to the brim with academic and recreational activities, and it is designed to give students their first experience of what it's like to live like a college student. CUUB students live in a dorm room on campus, eat in the campus dining hall, and although they are supervised carefully throughout the entire program, they experience a great deal of independence and personal accountability. Students are enrolled in rigorous classes from Monday through Friday each week, and attend study hall every Sunday through Thursday evening. On weekends, we all celebrate our hard work through recreational activities and culturally empowering events.

Take a look at our Summer Program page for more details, but in short: the CUUB summer program is a college preparatory experience unlike any other, with an emphasis on personal empowerment and communal support.

My child was just admitted into the CUUB program as an 8th grader. They will be a freshman in high school after this summer. Do they attend the CUUB Summer Academic Institute as well?

No--our CUUB Freshmen will not experience their first CUUB Summer Academic Institute until the summer after freshman year. 

Instead, CUUB Freshmen will be given an alternate assignment during the summer between their 8th and 9th grade years, to prepare them for their first year of high school and their first year as a CUUB student.