Upward Bound

FREE to eligible students

Upward Bound at Cowley College is a pre-college program dedicated to helping high school students prepare for college or vocational-technical schools. Academic, social, and cultural activities help students reach their full academic & personal potential.

Program Details

Who is Eligible?

Students are eligible to participate in the Upward Bound program at Cowley College based on:

  • Students enrolled in Arkansas City, Cedar Vale, Dexter, Oxford, Wellington, and Winfield as well as home schooled students.
  • Students whose family income is within federal requirements and/or students who will be a first generation college student. (meaning that neither parent had completed a bachelor degree)
  • Students who have demonstrated a need for the programs services, in order to pursue successfully a program of education beyond high school. 
Age and School Classification:

Students who have completed eighth grade but have not entered the twelfth grade and are at least 13 years old and less than 19.

Upward Bound members must commit to preparing themselves for post-secondary education before being accepted into the program. In return for this commitment, Upward Bound provides participants with a wide range of free services including: Tutoring, counseling, classroom instructions, college and career guidance, and improving their academic skills and their motivation & determination to pursue a post-secondary education.

Participants are expected to demonstrate an on-going commitment to these goals by continually striving for self-improvement. 

Program participants with any grades of a C or below in their core classes will be required to attend tutoring. There are also two Saturday Academies per month throughout the school year and a six-week  Summer Excellence Camp.

Upon completion of High School, Upward Bound participants will make the transition to college by taking part in the Summer Bridge Program and earning up to six hours of college credit at no expense to themselves or their families. Students will also live in the dormitories during that time.

Parents are encouraged to become active in Upward Bound.


Tutoring is provided for each participant on a need basis. If you are making A’s and B’s in all of your classes, you are exempt from tutoring. If any one of your core classes falls below those grades, you are required to attend a tutoring session for 1 hour once a week until the grade(s) rises to the A or B level. 

Academic & Career Counseling

Throughout the year we offer workshops and individual session on choosing the right career. We also offer advising on classes that will coincide with your career choice. This is to ensure that you are on the right track to your four-year degree.

College Admission & Financial Aid

Twice a year we work with the financial aid process and college admission requirements. This involves the area of the Pell Grant, scholarships, loans, applications, and other requirements for entering college.


Upward Bound offers workshops on preparing and taking the ACT/SAT. We talk about how to study for the test, what to look for in the test questions, and some helpful hints on getting yourself ready to take the test.

Saturday Academy

During the Academic year, we meet two Saturdays a month. During these sessions we offer a wide variety of educational, cultural, and social development seminars. We offer both on-campus and off-campus opportunities for these events. Transportation is provided.

Summer Excellence Camp

Each summer we offer a six-week excellence camp where the students live in the dorms and are involved in classes such as: Math, English, Science, Diversity, World Culture or Foreign Language. The Juniors and Seniors are involved in work study position on the College campus and the Freshman and Sophomores are involved in a Career Exploration track in the afternoons. On the last week of camp, we take a cultural trip to various places of interest in the Mid-West United States.


Stipends - During the school year, participants can earn up to $40 per month just by showing up to Saturday Academies and tutoring. If the student is not in need of tutoring, they receive the credit for that time.

During all of our activities, admission fees, food, transportation and any other funds needed for the activity are provided by Upward Bound. Therefore there is no cost to the students or their parents.

Financial Aid at Cowley College

Cowley College offers Academic Support programs and scholarships, work study programs, students loans and other financial aid.


Fastweb is a search portal for scholarships.


ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessment, research, information, and program management services.


FAFSA is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 

Mapping Your Future

Mapping Your Future is a Web Site providing college, career, and financial aid information and services.

COE, the Council for Opportunity in Education

COE, the Council for Opportunity in Education is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the United States. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host TRIO Programs to specifically help low-income Americans enter college and graduate.

Upward Bound Application

Core Teacher Evaluation Form

You will need to print two of the Core Teacher Forms.

Counselor Evaluation Form



We're Here to Help You Succeed!
Upward Bound/TRIO Assistant
Director - Upward Bound