Bloomsburg University TRIO Upward Bound Program Renewed by U.S. Department of Education

Bloomsburg, PA (06/03/2022) — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's TRIO Upward Bound program application for an additional five years of funding has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education for the period of September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2028.

The program will receive at least $2.44 million in federal funds to continue preparing low-income, potential first-generation college students in grades 9-12 from eight area high schools to successfully enroll in and complete postsecondary degree programs after high school.

BU's Upward Bound program, which will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2023, serves up to 92 students each year from the eight target high schools that the program serves (Berwick, Mahanoy, Mount Carmel, North Schuylkill, Pottsville, Shamokin, and Shikellamy). Students have to meet eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and of the 92 students served, at least 2/3 must be income eligible and potential first-generation college students, while the other 1/3 can be either income eligible, potential first-generation college students, or at high risk for academic failure. All students must have an academic need and plan to enroll in postsecondary education with plans to pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree immediately after high school.

"We are delighted to partner with our neighboring school districts to transform students' lives," said BU President Bashar Hanna. "The TRIO Upward Bound program provides low-income students in high school the opportunity to experience college life and provides them with the skills and motivation necessary to succeed in high school, enroll in and graduate from college."

John Kula, director of BU's TRIO Upward Bound program, explained how the program works.

"During the academic year, students meet after school each week at their schools for tutoring, college prep topics, study skills workshops, SAT practice, and one-on-one advising," said Kula. "We also host our Fall Kickoff (orientation) event for students and their families; a TRIO Day celebration and community service day during the winter. We also host a Summer Information Day where students who are planning to attend the on-campus Summer Academy and their families meet the staff, and learn about the field trips and planned events for the upcoming summer."

The success of Upward Bound is documented. In the fall of 2021, when BU's last report was done, 76% of Upward Bound participants enrolled in college immediately after graduating from high school, and 77% of students who enrolled in a postsecondary program of study within the past six years had successfully completed an associates or bachelor's degree or were still enrolled.

In the 44 years of the program at Bloomsburg University, nearly 3,000 students have participated in Upward Bound. Interested students and their family members are invited to visit the program's web page ( for additional information and a link to the online application.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 7,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and Honors College.