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Upward Bound Students and instructor in Sewing Class

Upward Bound

Get the support you need to go to college.

For high school students who want to get ahead, the Upward Bound program is an excellent choice. The Upward Bound program of Virginia Highlands Community College serves qualifying students enrolled at Chilhowie, Holston, Northwood, Patrick Henry, and Virginia high schools.

What is Upward Bound?

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.

Read More About TRIO Programs

Students must meet specified income guidelines and/or be a potential first generation college student, be a U.S. Citizen, and have completed the 8th grade in order to apply. Applicants will need a referral from the school guidance office and show potential for college acceptance.  Selected applicants will participate in a personal interview before being admitted. Students must also be enrolled in one of the high schools we serve.

Student Commitment:

  • Maintain a 2.5 semester GPA
  • Attend at least 50% of the scheduled weekly meetings 
  • Participate in cultural field trips, college visits, program workshops, and Summer Academy
  • Abide by program standards of conduct
  • Motivated and willing to accept challenges and desire to go on to college after high school

Apply here!


To request a paper application, please email

Who is Upward Bound?

"The Upward Bound Program has helped me by making sure I have the resources I need to fulfill and plan my future. They make sure that I am prepared for when I finish high school and go on to college. I enjoy being part of it, and I desire that future participants will enjoy it and receive as much help as I have."

-Abby Gonzalez, Chilhowie High School


"As a senior, Upward Bound has helped me stay on track by providing help with scheduling, applying for colleges and scholarships, as well as helping me with completing my FAFSA. On top of this, UB also provides fun trips like college visits, workshops, and a summer academy. I wish I would have discovered it sooner!"

-Ashley Johnson, Chilhowie High School

Barbara Worley

Meet Barbara Worley!

"Upward Bound has been such a blessing for my family. When my older two children started discussing going to college, we were a little overwhelmed at the process. We were unsure where to even begin. Upward Bound “held our hands” and guided us every step of the way! Their team was always responsive, helpful and extremely caring. I would highly recommend this program to everyone! They are truly making a difference in our community. Thank you Upward Bound!"



Meet Haylee! 

"This group has shown me so much about college and a world of experiences! I could not have asked for a better high school experience than what is through this group! I have been financially secured academically secured, and my motivation to learn has reached higher levels than ever!! Thank you, Upward Bound, for everything you have done for me."

Checklist by grade:

You're Gonna Love Where You Go.TM
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