Cover Photo Image

James Madison University Upward Bound is a federally funded program working with 60 students from two local high schools: Harrisonburg High School and Spotswood High School. Each school will have approximately 30-35 students selected to participate in weekly workshops/tutoring, monthly Saturday meetings, and a six-week summer program. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to earn monthly and summer stipends throughout the year.

Program Description

Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

Types of Projects

Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages. Tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, work-study programs, education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students; and programs and activities previously mentioned that are specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students who are in foster care or are aging out of foster care system or other disconnected students.

Additional Information

All Upward Bound projects MUST provide instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature, and foreign language. Other services include:

  • Information on the full range of Federal Student Financial Aid programs and benefits
  • Guidance and assistance on secondary school reentry, alternative education programs, or entry into general educational development programs or postsecondary education

Eligible Students

  • Are enrolled in grades 9, 10, or 11
  • A legal resident of Virginia
  • Meet current income and/or first-generation college status

Students are offered the opportunity to experience college life, prepare for post-secondary education, and enhance talents and skills related to their interests.

Program Objectives

The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. To achieve this goal, the JMU UB program plans to:

  • encourage and help maintain a competitive GPA
  • provide tools and resources for students to achieve a proficient level on state assessments in reading/language arts, mathematics, and the sciences
  • work on a plan for students to complete a rigorous program of study
  • encourage enrollment in an institution of higher education
  • provide tools and resources for students to graduate with a secondary school diploma
  • provide the guidance and mentorship to accomplish their career aspirations


  • Free Tutoring
  • Career and Personal Counseling
  • Academic Skill Enhancement
  • Test-Taking Skills
  • Supports Parent Involvement
  • College Admissions Assistance
  • Financial Aid Training
  • Course Selection for Academic Year
  • Standardized Tests Mentoring Program
  • Intensive Academic Instruction
  • Diagnostic Testing

Upward Bound program provides the following:

  • Weekly Tutoring as needed
  • Monthly Workshops
  • Six Week Summer Component


The Upward Bound students participate in a number of activities that will help enhance their social and academic skills. These social activities include:

  • Six Week Summer Program at JMU
  • Intensive Academic Instruction
  • Career Exploration
  • Cultural Activities
  • Campus Visits
  • Recreational Activities/Games
  • Math, Science & Technical Writing Workshops
  • Mentor Program with University Faculty and Faculty Assistants
  • Tutoring and Counseling Services
  • Strengthen Academic and Social Skills

Recruiting now! Speak to your school counselor or contact Amanda Sawyer.

100% Federally Funded by U.S. Department of Education PR# P047A221307

Follow us on social media!


facebook.png twitter.png instagram.png

Back to Top