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It is important to understand that a college preparatory curriculum differs from standard high school graduation requirements. Each college has different requirements for admission and at the very least we expect our students to meet the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) Guidelines. This could mean additional free school-based financial aid and scholarships for our students. In order to be best prepared for college, we expect our students to challenge themselves as much as possible while in high school.


Meeting the ACG requirements means taking a very rigid course load while in high school. Below is the minimum classes that the ACG Grant expects college bound students to take and receive passing grades in, along with additional courses we recommend students to take:


  1. Four years of English

  2. At least three years of math (we recommend four including at least Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry)

  3. Three years of science (we recommend four including at least two courses from biology, chemistry or physics)

  4. Three years of social studies (we recommend four)

  5. At least 1 year of a foreign language (we recommend three).



Monthly School Meetings

We meet with students in their schools at least once a month, and often more to check in about classes, remind them of upcoming events, and continue planning for college. During these meetings we get a sense of how each student is doing overall and can help troubleshoot any issues they might be facing.



We offer a number of leadership, community service, academic, and cultural leaderships throughout the school year. These include college tours, the New England Student Leadership and JFK Leadership Conferences, TRIO Day, volunteering with Burklyn Arts and Warm the Children, and most recently an off-Broadway production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Meetings On Campus

Every six weeks or so we try to bring everyone on campus for a full program meeting. It is a great way to check in with families, celebrate our students hard work, answer questions and concerns, and provide updates and reminders to ensure everyone is on the same page.


Cohort Workshops

A few times throughout the year we will bring students and parents together to meet as a cohort. These workshops help guide students through each year of high school and provide important information about the benchmarks we expect them to hit. This also includes SAT review workshops for juniors and seniors Common App and FAFSA workshops for seniors.



We provide year round one-on-one and group advising with students. This includes: helping students develop a college list, researching majors and career choices, counseling on the classes they should be taking, and serious conversations designed to keep students focused on their future and developing academically, professionally, and personally.



We never stop working with our students, even after they have graduated from out program! We have invested so much time and energy into getting our students into college and we want to hear about how they are doing! Plus the goal is to graduate from college and we will do anything we can to make sure our alums graduate.



Upward Bound offers participants a number of unique and challenging opportunities that are available only to Upward Bound and TRIO students.  To be considered for participation in these events, you have to work hard academically, complete homework, attend classes regularly, meet with the Upward Bound staff regularly and, whenever necessary and if possible, get tutoring.  By meeting our expectations, you may be selected to participate in some of the following events. 

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National TRIO Day Celebration

Whenever possible, Upward Bound sends juniors, accompanied by staff, to a regional conference in February.  Selection for this weekend event is based on academic standing, ability to assume responsibility, leadership qualities and desire to attend.  This conference allows participants to visit regional colleges and learn about other TRIO programs (UB Math-Science, Talent Search, Student Support Services and GEAR UP).


New England Student Leadership Conference

A three-day event held annually in September.  Participants are selected based on the ability to assume responsibility, demonstrate leadership qualities and desire to attend.  This conference allows participants to learn from and share experiences with other Upward Bound and Talent Search students from New England. 


Green Mountain Scholar's Bowl

The Green Mountain Scholars Bowl is held annually in the spring.  Upward Bound selects teams to join in the friendly competition.  Selection is based on interest, academic standing and continued participation. The prize for the winning teams is scholarship money for their programs.


Sophomore Summit

This is a day long conference for sophomores held at the University of Vermont in the fall. Since this occurs on a school day, sophomores must be in good academic standing to be selected.

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JFK Leadership Conference

This leadership conference takes place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. It brings together TRIO students from all over New England for a day filled with workshops, a tour of the Museum and inspirational guest speakers. This conference takes place over April vacation and we usually bring five students and visit a college or museum during our trip.


Vermont TRIO Day at the State House

Every year we select two motivated students to attend this outstanding event held at the capitol building in Montpelier designed to raise awareness of TRIO programs and the incredible students we work with. Students get a chance to meet with their local representatives, tell their story, and observe legislative meetings. Senator Bernie Sanders often attends this event and In 2019 Senator Patrick Leahy even made a surprise appearance! 


College Tours

Every year we have the opportunity to attend mulitple college tours. This is a great way to students to step foot on a college campus, explore their options, and create their college list! Every year we try to attend the 3-for-all college tour event: a day long conference intended for freshman and sophomores held at the University of Vermont, Champlain College and St. Michael’s College in late spring. 

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We have the capacity to do almost anything with our students as long as it is educational or beneficial to their growth and development. We have done everything from hiking and sailing trips to theater productions, STEM exploration, bowling, waterparks and even an overnight trip to Salem! If students have particular interests they can request potential events or activities and we will do our best to accommodate!

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