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Veterans Upward Bound Program

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The Veterans Upward Bound Program

Being able to get your college degree can be a challenge, and sometimes people do need some extra help to do so. That is why the Veterans Upward Bound Program is there. To help veterans get motivated as well as assisting them in developing the skills they need to succeed in a post-secondary education program.

How does the Veterans Upward Bound Program Help Veterans?

Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) programs help veterans in many different ways.

  • Basic skills development to help veterans successfully complete a high school equivalency program and gain admission to college education programs
  • Short-term remedial or refresher classes for high school graduates that have put off pursuing a college education
  • Offer counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and academic instruction in core subject areas such as reading, writing, study skills, mathematics, science as well as other subjects.
  • Assistance with selecting the right course, help prepare for college entrance exams, as well as applications.
  • Information on and assistance with applying for the full range of Federal Student financial aid programs and benefits
  • Help with federal student financial aid programs and benefits as well as help them find public and private scholarships.
  • Personalized Academic and Career Counseling and Mentoring
  • Academic advice and assistance
  • Guidance for those in secondary schools who need help with alternative programs or getting their GED.
  • Exposure to cultural events, academic programs, and other educational activities not usually available to disadvantaged people
  • Assistance in getting veterans services from other available resources

VUB projects “are also expected to assist veterans in securing support services from other locally available resources such as the Veterans Administration, state veterans agencies, veteran associations, and other state and local agencies that serve veterans.”

In terms of the college-prep/refresher courses, VUB sites are required by TRIO mandates to provide instruction in a variety of subjects, such as mathematics (through pre-calculus), laboratory science, foreign language, composition, and literature. VUB will oftentimes also provide instruction in reading, computer basics, and “other subjects you may need for success in education beyond high school”; program advisors may also assist participants with tutoring and study skills.

Who funds the Veterans Upward Bound Program?

VUB is funded by the US Department of Education as a part of the Federal TRIO Program. This program is made up of eight programs including:

  • Upward Bound
  • Talent Search
  • Student Support Services
  • Veterans Upward Bound Program

How much money is awarded for these programs?

In FY 2017, there was $18,186,172 in funds available. There were 64 awards given out with 8,407 participants. The average award for projects amount was $284,159 with the average amount of participants being 131. The average cost per participant was $2,163.

What eligibility requirements are required for participants?

Two-thirds of the participants in a certain project must be low-income and a first-generation college student. The rest will need to be either low-income or first-generation as well as a military veteran under one of the following circumstances.  You must:

  • Meet military service requirements.
    • Have served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for more than 180 days and received other than a dishonorable discharge
    • Discharged because of a service connected disability
    • Member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces called to active duty for a period of more than 30 days
    • Member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001
  • Meet the criteria for low-income according to guidelines published annually by the Department of Education and/or a prospective first-generation college student who is preparing to enter a post-secondary institution.
  • Demonstrate academic need by having the potential for a high risk of academic failure
  • Meet other local eligibility criteria as noted in the local VUB project’s Approved Grant Proposal, such as county of residence, etc.

What Does Low-Income Mean?

Low-income is based on the Federal TRIO income chart from January 18th, 2018.

As an example, with a family size of two, your taxable income would need to be below $24,690.  For residents in Alaska this would be $30,870 and $28,395 for those in Hawaii.

A family of four would be $37,650, with $47,070 for Alaska and $43,305 for Hawaii.

What is required for those who apply?

Applicants for the grant would need to be one of these:

  • An institution of higher education.
  • Public and private agencies and organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth.
  • Combinations of such institutions, agencies and organizations, and as appropriate to the purpose of the program, secondary schools.

So The Grants Will Be Given To These Institutions to Create Projects to Help Veterans?

Yes, the grants are for the projects that make up the Veterans Upward Bound program. Interested veterans will need to apply in order to receive the services that the projects provide.

Veterans Upward Bound is a TRIO Program

TRIO is a Federal initiative comprised of eight Department of Education programs designed to identify, perform outreach to, and provide support services for potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The recipients receive aid while they “progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.”

One of those 8 divisions of TRIO is the project called Veterans Upward Bound (VUB). Created in 1972 “as an offshoot of the regular Upward Bound,” VUB is a free program “designed to motivate and assist [U.S. military] veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education.” In short, it acts as a college-prep program with a primary goal of increasing veteran enrollment, participation, and completion of higher education. Different higher education institutions around the U.S. receive grants from the Department of Education to become project managers for the VUB program – there are currently 49 nationwide, including Puerto Rico, ready to assist veterans.

How Do I Find More Information On The Veterans Upward Bound Program?

Are you interested?  If so, check in with your local college and university to see if they offer this program. This program is not available at every school.  However, the one you are looking to go to may have it to help you achieve your educational goals.

Here are a few schools, which can be found in the CollegeRecon Search tool that participate in the Veterans Upward Bound program.

You can also search for schools with the VUB program in our College Search Tool.

The Veterans Upward Bound Program hopes to help the rate of veterans applying for and completing post-secondary education. Sometimes people just need extra help with their schooling and this is what this program can accomplish.

To find the VUB office nearest you, please visit the National Association of Veterans Upward Bound website and use their locator map.





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, and blogger. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.