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Upward Bound Programs

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Interested in college? 
Love traveling to new places?

Upward Bound helps high school students overcome social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. How?

  • Career exploration!
  • College prep workshops!
  • Cultural experiences!
  • Free tutoring!
  • One-on-one mentorship!
  • Plus, get paid for participating!

First, we help students find academic success and graduate from high school. Second, we encourage enrollment and graduation from post-secondary education. Students participate in weekly tutoring, monthly activities, and a residential summer program.

Virginia Tech's Upward Bound Programs serve students in eight counties across Southwest Virginia and is made up of three program components.

Academic Advising

Advising sessions are held once a month to identify the students' needs and goals. It also allows us to create and enact a plan while providing encouragement, motivation, and support.


Project advisors arrange for students to recieve tutoring services through their home school as needed. Students can also receive tutoring at each Saturday Session on Virginia Tech’s campus.

Academic Enrichment

Students have access to academic enrichment activities on campus during our Saturday Sessions and virtually.

Field Trips and College Visits

Students tour several colleges and universities throughout the year. Students also are exposed to new places and experiences. Trips have included Washingtion D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, and several areas across Virginia. 

ACT/SAT Prep and Fee Waivers

Students are offered the opportunity to take an ACT/SAT online prep in preparation for their college entrance exam. Students may also qualify for fee waivers for both their ACT and SAT exams. 

Summer Intensive Program

The Summer Intensive Program is a six-week residential summer program with academic services, postsecondary planning, career-readiness programming, college tours, and more. Each week of the program will culminate in a regional college visit and cultural activity. 

The academic portion of the summer program provides a cross-curricular and project-based learning approach integrating subject-area instruction around a central theme each year. The courses are aligned with a college preparatory curriculum and designed to strengthen academic skills. Four days per week participants will take courses in mathematics, composition and literature, foreign language, laboratory science, and PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation.

Summer Start

This program, held during the six-week summer program, helps graduated seniors transition to college. 

Learn more about our summer programs.

Saturday Sessions will be held in person on the Virginia Tech Campus from 11-3 on the following dates for the 2023-2024 school year:

- September 16th 

- December 9th

- February 24th 

- April 28th (seniors only) 

Pick-up/drop-off times and locations vary from scool to school, check your email or see your Project Advisor for more information.

For the months not listed above, students should seek out the VT TRiO Monthly Curriculum. 

Why should you apply?

Upward Bound provides students with a variety of free educational, cultural, and social programs including:

  • Individual tutoring
  • Preparation for SAT/ACT
  • Fee waivers 
  • Social activities
  • Monthly events on Virginia Tech's campus, with transportation provided
  • Residential summer program 
  • Personal one-on-one support

Who's eligible to participate?

Upward Bound serves students in grades 9 through 12 from the following high schools:

  • Floyd County: Floyd High School
  • Franklin County: Franklin High School 
  • Giles County: Giles and Narrows High Schools
  • Henry County: Bassett & Magna Vista High Schools
  • Lynchburg: E.C. Glass & Heritage High Schools 
  • Martinsville: Martinsville High School
  • Pulaski County: Pulaski High School
  • Salem City: Salem High School 
  • Roanoke City: William Fleming and Patrick Henry High Schools

(At the time of initial selection, students must have completed eighth grade and be at least 13 years old but not older than 19.)

Participants also must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Students are income-eligible as determined by the federal government.  
  • Students are first-generation college attendees (neither the student’s mother nor father has graduated with a four-year degree).
  • Students are considered academically at-risk.

Ready to apply?

Fill out the form that corresponds with your school below. 


For students who attend Patrick Henry or William Fleming high school.

For students who attend Salem High School.

For students who attend Floyd, Franklin County, Giles, Narrows, Bassett, Magna Vista, Pulaski, E.C. Glass, or Heritage high school.

SPANISH_Upward Bound Programs Application.pdf
Upward Bound participants get the opportunity to travel and take part in cultural experiences while still in high school.