CUUB Program Overview

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.

Indigenous perspectives and practices are at the center of everything we do. 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, supporting all CUUB students beyond high school graduation and college acceptance.

GPA does figure into your application, but there is no GPA minimum that would make a student ineligible to apply to CUUB. 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.

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

The CU Upward Bound (CUUB) Program is unique in that we serve students from 12 target high schools located on/near six of the American Indian reservation communities that we have partnered with since our program started in 1981.  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, throughout the academic year, CUUB offers weekly advising and tutoring sessions via Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check your CUUB emails for the links to these sessions.

  • 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.
  • Attend Advising, Tutoring and Use OnTrack. CUUB students should attend four advising and tutoring sessions each month. During advising, our staff are providing workshops on study skills; college prep; and standardized test preparation. During tutoring, students can join to work on their own homework assigned by their high school, work on college/scholarship applications, and two tutors will be available to assist on any assignments. Students who cannot attend can make up sessions through OnTrack or set up individual meetings with CUUB staff.
  • 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.

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 CUUB program requirement difficult or uncomfortable. But CUUB knows that students who meet with a high school counselor regularly are much more likely to find postsecondary success. One-on-one interaction and counseling are very important parts of preparing for collegec, and the CUUB site coordinators are able to provide that service to our students year round.

Summer Academic Institute

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

  • No. All costs for the summer program are fully covered by the CUUB program. This includes room and board, tickets and transportation for all CUUB recreational activities, and access to the CU Boulder Rec Center.
  • CUUB participants and family members are responsible for the cost of travel to and from Boulder. However, 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.
  • Students receive a weekly stipend of $20 during the six-week summer program. The $120 will assist students with miscellaneous expenses like laundry, off-campus dining, souvenirs, etc.

The CUUB summer program is filled 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 independence and personal accountability. Students are enrolled in rigorous classes from Monday through Friday each week, and attend study hall Sunday through Thursday evenings. On weekends, we celebrate our hard work through recreational activities and culturally empowering events.

Take a look at our Summer Program page for more details.

Still have questions?

Please contact Cassie Sando or Raelene Manuelito.