Upward Bound No More?

College Prep funding in Jeopardy

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Upward Bound No More?

Upward Bound's summer program 2015 visits the Missoula airport on a field trip.

Upward Bound's summer program 2015 visits the Missoula airport on a field trip.

Courtesy of Jessica Stamler

Upward Bound's summer program 2015 visits the Missoula airport on a field trip.

Courtesy of Jessica Stamler

Courtesy of Jessica Stamler

Upward Bound's summer program 2015 visits the Missoula airport on a field trip.

Savannah Hauglum, News Editor

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Due to incorrect formatting on its, Upward Bound has been deemed ineligible for consideration for funding. One section of the grant application was formatted incorrectly which they corrected and resubmitted back to the U.S.department of education. Upward Bound is scheduled to close May 31st unless funding is reinstated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Upward Bound celebrated 50 years in 2016 and is funded to serve 75 students of lesser means. This upcoming summer session which was suppose to serve 55 students, has already been cancelled because the federal agency doesn’t send funding notifications until the end of June.

“As of right now, they’re waiting for the Department of Education to read and score our application.If they do, we’ll have a fair shot of being funded for the next five year cycle” says Alysa Kelly, Academic Coordinator of Upward Bound at the University of Montana. If not, then Missoula’s Upward Bound loses their funding and will cease to exist.

TRIO – Upward Bound is a national program with several chapters. The University of Montana is the only one in Montana. It accepts students from Big Sky, Hellgate and Browning. Upward Bound is funded by the U.S Department of Education to provide academic skills and motivation that qualifying students need in post-secondary options.

To qualify for Upward Bound, students need to be at least a freshmen but not entered their senior year, meet federal low income standards, must attend one of the schools that they accept. To add to those requirements, students also need a sincere interest in continuing their education past high school, show a need for program services, earned at least average high school grades, and have a history of maintaining good behavior.

Kelly goes on to say that the students are amazingly smart, kind, hardworking and compassionate individuals. This program can make the difference between a student making it to college or not, kelly says “but she wants to stress that they do not hand their students free college applications. They work for it and the staff at Upward Bound supports them through it.”

Chenoa Reid has been with the Upward bound program for 3 years and was planning to go this upcoming summer.

“It’s affected my life in a positive way and I’ve meet a lot of great friends,” says Reid

She also says it got her a head start on the next school year and that the classes there prepared her for some of the classes has taken. The last thing she mentioned was the way it affects kids from Browning, Montana. They usually don’t have opportunities like Upward Bound so the funding cut, is going to take those opportunities away from them.

Not only will the funding cut affect the students, but also the University of Montana. Upward Bound partnered with several other departments on campus including residence life and dining services which were their biggest partners. Their budgets will miss the contributions of UB’s program.

Craig Messerman, a science teacher at Big Sky, has a pretty strong opinion on the funding cuts. He taught at Upward Bound from 2008-2010 and 2 years ago in 2015. Even though he didn’t plan on teaching this upcoming summer he’s been very involved with the program and is very sad to see the funding cuts. He went on to talk about the benefits he sees in the program for the students.

“It teaches them responsibility because they have to be there on time for class” he says

He also talks about the other benefits of Upward Bound. Lots of people are there to take care of them and watch out for the students. It also gets them prepared for college and what life will be like.