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Loyola University New Orleans Upward Bound Program Receives Five-Year Federal Grant Worth Approximately $2.2 Million

Loyola press release - July 12, 2017

Since 1966, Loyola’s Upward Bound program has helped disadvantaged area high school students to graduate and prepare for college

Thanks to a renewed five-year federal grant worth more than $2.2 million, the Upward Bound program at Loyola University New Orleans will continue over the next five years to educate nearly 100 area high school students in preparing for college. Started in 1966, Loyola’s Upward Bound program is one of the oldest in the state; the program has been in continuous operation and has successfully received renewed funding every five years since inception.

The program takes place at Loyola during the summer months and on Saturdays throughout the year, allowing students an opportunity to be part of a college campus. From September through May, mentors also provide academic enrichment, tutoring, and workshops at four area high schools.

“Providing access to a transformative education to as many students as possible is central to Jesuit ideals and to the Loyola mission,” said Loyola University New Orleans president the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “Through the Upward Bound program, we are able to ensure that nearly 100 deserving high school students receive guidance, support, and academic services designed to help them to graduate and leave high school college-ready, prepared to pursue academic opportunities ahead.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound Program is designed to promote college enrollment and graduation among disadavantaged students from areas afflicted by high unemployment, high poverty rates, and low levels of academic achievement. Loyola University New Orleans is one of 11 higher education institutions and education fund administrators in Louisiana to receive the award. The grant, which is part of the federal TRIO program, will provide $444,509 per year to Loyola for the next five years, funding 100 percent of the total costs budgeted for the program.

Loyola’s Upward Bound project provides outreach and student services to low-income, disadvantaged students from a target area of five urban cities within the greater New Orleans area: Gretna, Harvey, Marrero, Westwego, and Terrytown. Specifically, Loyola’s Upward Bound project provides college preparatory activities and supportive services to 96 low-income and potential first-generation college students attending Helen Cox High School, John Ehret High School, L. W. Higgins High School, and West Jefferson High School.

To help prepare for college, students in the program receive additional academic enrichment in Math, English, science and foreign languages in order to ensure they meet standards in TOPS-eligible university settings. In addition, participating students receive services including: academic advising and report card reviews; dropout prevention activities and workshops; study and test-taking skills training; career exploration activities, field trips, and workshops; college, financial aid, and financial literacy information; and parent workshops and meetings, as well as referrals and other supportive services, programs, and agencies.

Moreover, Loyola’s Upward Bound program helps eligible students navigate the college application process. Participants benefit from college testing information, fee waivers and preparation; individualized technical assistance with college admissions applications; individualized technical assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); participant/parent financial aid, scholarship information and financial literacy workshops; economic and financial literacy activities and workshops, as well as college field trips. Participating students also receive academic progress plans, non-credit college-level bridge coursework and special tutoring as needed.

“College graduates come back and tell us how important their Upward Bound experience was in preparing them to matriculate from college successfully,” said Veronica Carter, director of Loyola’s Upward Bound program and a 1985 graduate of Dillard University’s program. “I look forward to five more successful years of preparing students for college and my staff and I are eager to serve our students as they embark on this exciting and challenging journey.”