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University of Iowa Upward Bound

  • Jennifer Lynch
  • Project Director, TRIO Upward Bound
  • 319-335-6945

Program Description

The University of Iowa TRIO Upward Bound Project is a federally funded college preparatory program for income qualified and/or first-generation college students who are motivated to pursue a college degree. The program serves eligible high school students from three southeastern Iowa community high schools: Columbus Community High School, Muscatine High School, and West Liberty High School.

Students participate during the academic year in weekly after school programming at their local high school. They participate in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related educational opportunities, American College Testing (ACT) preparation, community service, cultural programs, field trips, and college visits.

During the summer, students attend a six-week residential program on the University of Iowa campus from mid-June through July. Participants take mathematics, science, language arts, and world language courses to prepare them for classes they will take at their local high school in the fall. In addition, students take STEM workshops to expose them to a broader range of career opportunities and an ACT preparation course to ready them for college admissions exams.

Upward Bound Bridge students (those who will enter college in the fall) enroll in a University of Iowa course during the six-week summer session. Bridge students participate in an on-campus job shadow and take a college transition seminar.

Upward Bound provides services to students during high school through enrollment in postsecondary education. All services received are at no cost to students.

Other postsecondary institutions in Iowa and across the nation sponsor Upward Bound programs. High school students who do not attend schools served by the University of Iowa program should ask their counselors whether an Upward Bound program serves their area.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • Between 50% and 75%