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Veterans Upward Bound - UPENN

  • Kenneth M. DeTreux
  • Director
  • (215) 898-6892

Program Description

OVERVIEW: The TRIO Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at the University of Pennsylvania is a FREE, non-credited, non-profit, pre-college program federally funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The primary goal of TRIO VUB is to prepare eligible veterans to enter college, be successful in college, and to graduate from college. In order for students to be fully prepared for college, TRIO VUB emulates the college experience. High expectations are placed on students while attending TRIO VUB in order to support their success in the Program and later in college.

TRIO VUB provides 160 students annually with academic instruction and support services. Students come to TRIO VUB from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Camden County in New Jersey.

STRUCTURE: TRIO VUB operates three program cycles during the year with classes beginning in September, January, and May. Each program cycle is 15 weeks with the first week as Semester Orientation, the next 13 weeks are course work, and the fifteenth week is Final's Week. Classes are held Monday to Friday with day classes typically between 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and night classes from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Basic (100 level) or intermediate (200 level) classes are offered in Computer, Language Lab, Literature, Spanish, Math, and Science. In addition to the classes various academic, financial, and informational workshops are also offered. VUB holds Academic Boot Camps (tutoring) a minimum of four days a week, thirteen weeks a semester. Veterans are also offered academic enrichment tours of local colleges.

AREAS SERVED: Counties in Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia; Counties in New Jersey: Camden

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible for VUB, you must meet the following requirements:

1. Be committed to attending and graduating from a two-year or four-year college, university or other educational program within the next three to six years.

2. Be highly motivated to successfully complete VUB. Please know that VUB is an intensive Pre-College program and you will be required to meet high expectations. This is to prepare you for your long-term academic success.

3. Be able to commit to attending classes when scheduled and on time.

4. Have served 181 days of active duty in the military or have a service-connected medical discharge before 181 of service;

5. OR was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces called to active duty for a period of more than 30 days (at least 31 days), OR if you were called to active duty for less than 30 days served in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.

6. Have a discharge other than dishonorable (a copy of your DD 214 OR letter of service from the VA is required).

7. Provide VUB with a copy of your recent 1040-tax form OR any document that verifies your income made or monies received. If you do not have such a document a form in the VUB office will need to be completed.

8. Not have a bachelor's degree and not be currently enrolled in school.

9. Be a first generation college student whose parents have never received a bachelor's degree OR meet income requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education for Federal TRIO Program.

TRIO Veterans Upward Bound is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Other
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 160
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

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


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • University of Pennsylvania

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 45%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 25%