JOHNSON CITY (June 16, 2017) — The TRIO program at East Tennessee State University was awarded $980,893 for each of the next five years by the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding Upward Bound.
TRIO programs were established nationally under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to assist eligible students in successfully completing a college degree by helping them overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. ETSU received maximum scoring and was one of 800 TRIO programs to receive grant renewal out of 1,600 applicants.
“It’s very competitive and we feel fortunate to be able to continue Upward Bound for the next five years,” said Dr. Ronnie Gross, director of ETSU’s TRIO programs. “Students who complete this program are six times more likely to graduate from college.”
The grant renewal enables the ETSU Upward Bound program to serve more than 200 high school students from Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, and Sullivan county schools as well as Elizabethton, Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol city schools. Students typically start the program in the beginning of their freshman or sophomore year of high school and remain in the program until they begin their college career. To qualify for Upward Bound, students must meet family income guidelines and/or neither parent has a degree from a four-year college.
Upward Bound participants meet weekly with program staff throughout the school year and spend five weeks each summer living on campus and taking courses to prepare them for the year ahead.
“We help students be academically prepared for college and look forward to continuing these services for area high school students,” Gross said. “We appreciate the tremendous support and assistance from the university and from the principals, teachers and guidance counselors who enable us to offer Upward Bound at their schools.”