History of TRIO Upward Bound

In an effort to wage the nation's War on Poverty, Congress (at the direction of President Lyndon B. Johnson) legislated funding for Upward Bound in 1965 at eighteen institutions nationwide. Along with Upward Bound, two other education opportunity programs were created, forming TRIO. Today, there are eight TRIO programs serving students from middle school through doctoral programs, military veterans, and displaced workers. The TRIO Upward Bound program supports high school students through enhancing their skills and motivation to complete high school and be successful in college.

There are currently 780 TRIO Upward Bound programs and five are located in Montana. Funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the programs improve educational opportunity and access to higher education for America's low-income students.

In 1966, the University of Montana successfully received an Upward Bound grant. With sustained funding from 1966 to date, over 3,000 high school students have been assisted by the program.

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University of Montana Upward Bound

The University of Montana Upward Bound program serves students in Missoula and the Blackfeet Nation who attend Browning, Heart Butte, Big Sky, Hellgate, and Sentinel High Schools. These five schools were selected because of the wonderful opportunity to serve a broad range of culturally diverse students with need for academic support. Fostering diversity makes considerable sense given the mobile global workforce that brings international employees to America and sends American employees overseas. Students must develop a sense of tolerance and cultural appreciation as an important job skill.

Eligible Upward Bound high school students must be raised in low-income families and/or families where neither parent has earned a bachelor's degree. Over two-thirds of the participants satisfy both of these requirements. Additionally, the students must demonstrate academic need for program services and aspire to attend college once they graduate from high school. UM TRIO Upward Bound is comprised of three primary components: academic year support services, Summer Academy, and Bridge Scholars. Designed to provide sustained service from 9th grade through high school graduation, the components complement one another.

Summer Academy Memories

    Group of Upward Bound students around campfire         Group of Upward Bound students in the pool at Splash Montana         Group photo of full Summer 2022 Upward Bound cohort at Camp Paxson