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College prep program at Tulane receives $2.5M grant

June 21, 2017 10:00 AM


Barri Bronston

Upward Bound participants prepare for college through a variety of activities, from college prep courses to leadership development. (Photo courtesy of Upward Bound)


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Tulane University’s Upward Bound program two grants totaling $2.5 million, doubling the size of the program that facilitates and supports college readiness and access for first-generation college students.

The grants, which will be distributed over the next five years, will be used to expand participation beginning with the 2017-18 academic year.

Upward Bound, part of the College and Career Success initiatives at the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, provides a wide array of year-round personalized services that prepare students academically, socially and financially for success in college and beyond. Participating students spend their entire high school career engaging with academic tutoring, career exploration, personal counseling, assistance applying for financial aid, supplemental academic support, ACT workshops, college prep courses, regional and national college exploration trips, and leadership development. Participants commit to the program until high school graduation and participate in a six-week summer program and an academic year component that includes weekly tutoring and Saturday Academy.

“Our work is about improving life outcomes for young people."

Amanda Kruger Hill, executive director of the Cowen Institute

“Our mission is to prepare each student for an individual, focused and supported path to success as they enter college and successfully graduate,” said Upward Bound Director April Rice. With the new funding, we have the great opportunity to expand our impact.”

Upward Bound has a 100 percent high school graduation rate and an 88 percent college persistence rate, well above local and national averages. Academic investment and thoughtful planning for productive futures are hallmarks of the Upward Bound program. Nationally, the college persistence rate for the nation’s most disadvantaged students is 9 percent.

“The Upward Bound team is doing remarkable work,” Cowen Institute Executive Director Amanda Kruger Hill said. “Our work is about improving life outcomes for young people. These grants will allow us to double in size and expand our impact to more New Orleans youth. ”