Mission and 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

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.

Beyond that, in order to remain in good standing with the program and continue to have access to all of CUUB's secondary/postsecondary resources, all you need to do is: 

  • 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. Successful completion of the modules will earn you a stipend of $20/month. Failure to complete these assignments will place you in academic probation, which can result in loss of incentives or ultimate dismissal from the program.
  • 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 for more personalized support.
  • Uphold the core philosophies 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 emans uphold our central values of community, leadership, and positive energy.
How does CU Upward Bound support its students throughout the academic year?

The CU Upward Bound (CUUB) Program is unique in that it serves students from eleven target high schools located on/near the American Indian reservation communities it has partnered with over the 30 years of the 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, CUUB's Directors visit each target high school twice per semester to provide in-person workshops on topics ranging from financial aid, to personal statement writing, to succeeding in college while honoring and developing cultural values and identity.

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. 

Summer Academic Program

How long is the summer program?

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

Does it cost anything to attend the summer program?

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 does the summer program 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.