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What is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is a college preparatory program designed to provide academic skills and motivation for students who are interested in pursuing an educational program beyond high school. Students generally enter the program in the 9th or 10th grade and remain through graduation from high school and entry into college.


Upward Bound gives the high school student a chance to learn first-hand what college life is all about and helps the student develop skills necessary to succeed in college. The program emphasizes reading, writing, math, science, and study skills. Personal, career, and academic counseling is also provided.


Upward Bound is one of the federally-funded "TRIO" programs that allows selected educational institutions or agencies to provide fundamental support to participants in preparation for college entrance.


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What do the students do?

During the summer, Upward Bound (UB) students live on the Oklahoma State University campus for six weeks and participate in a variety of academic, social, and cultural activities.


During the regular school year, UB students are in contact with UB staff members and tutors through activities, counseling sessions and tutorials. UB students come to the OSU campus one Saturday each month for workshops to help prepare for college entrance. Juniors and seniors visit college campuses and receive guidance as part of their college selection and application process. UB students also participate in recreational and cultural activities.


A special "Bridge" program is provided to graduating seniors. During the six-week summer program, seniors enroll in six hours of college-level coursework on the OSU campus.


Program Services

UB provides supplemental instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature, foreign language, study skills, critical thinking and computer literacy as well as:


  • Academic, financial and personal counseling
  • One-on-one and small group tutorial services
  • Mentoring programs
  • Career exploration opportunities
  • Information on postsecondary education opportunities
  • Assistance in completing college entrance and financial aid applications
  • Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams and waivers of test fees
  • Opportunities to attend cultural events and academic programs
  • Informational programs for parents
  • Monthly stipend


Program Eligibility Criteria 

To be considered for OSU Upward Bound, students must meet the following criteria:


  • Enrolled in the ninth or tenth grade at Cleveland, Pawhuska, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Woodland (Fairfax) High Schools

  • A member of a family in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree or a family whose income does not exceed the level established by the U.S. Department of Education





If you would like assistance in completing your application, or to request a paper application, please call 405-744-4575 or email

Your application will be thoroughly reviewed and if you meet the minimum requirements for the program, you will be contacted by a member of the UB Staff. 

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