TRIO Upward Bound will provide five years of funding to help 60 local students find their paths to college annually.

Sumter, SC (07/05/2022) — The U.S. Department of Education announced that the University of South Carolina Sumter will receive a federal Upward Bound grant of $1,488,005 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. USC Sumter introduced the Upward Bound program in 2017 at Manning High School and has served over 125 students since that time. To qualify, students must be in grades 9-12 and income eligible families whose parents do not have a bachelor's degree.

One of the federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. 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.

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

"Working with high school students to achieve their dream of being the first in their family to graduate from college has been extremely rewarding for me and the Upward Bound staff," said Lisa Rosdail, Director for Upward Bound and Opportunity Scholars Programs at USC Sumter.

Rosdail continued, "We work closely with our students to increase their GPA, improve their test-taking skills, assist in securing financial aid and scholarship sources, and provide assistance with college application and enrollment processes. We closely monitor our participants course selections to assure they graduate with a rigorous high school diploma making them more competitive to college admissions departments."

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.

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal "TRIO" programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

"USC Sumter has two TRIO funded programs-Upward Bound and Opportunity Scholars-the first program helps students get ready for college and the second helps them succeed in college," said Dr. Michael Sonntag, USC Sumter Campus Dean. "As we prepare students for meaningful work, productive civic engagement, and a high quality of life, such programs improve the likelihood that every student-regardless of economic, educational, or family background-has a chance to succeed and thrive in our community and the world beyond. Coupling these programs with the education and programs offered by our exceptional faculty and staff ensures USC Sumter meets our mission to provide quality education to the citizens and communities we serve."

"As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees," said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

As of 2021, over 3,000 TRIO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRIO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.