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ESU gets $2.5M to help first generation college students

The U.S. Department of Education announced that East Stroudsburg University will receive a federal Upward Bound grant of $2.5 million to help more low income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college.

One of the federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

Many national Upward Bound alumni have gone on to great success, among them Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, correspondent for ABC News John Quiñones and Hall of Fame NBA player Patrick Ewing.

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer.

Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid, and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY21, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects in the United States.

“Upward Bound prepares students for college who may not have ever realized college was a very real path for them,” said Margaret Ball, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This grant will help us continue to allow young people to see their potential, become the first in their family to earn a college degree, and give them the power to elevate their lives.”