FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
NEO’s Upward Bound program receives grant renewal
Upward Bound is a federally funded program that helps students who are low income and/or first
generation college students obtain adequate preparation for higher education. Students must sign up
either their freshman or sophomore year in high school and continue their participation throughout their
high school career.
Students are provided with workshops and tutoring
after school at each school and meet at least one
Saturday a month for a seminar (which can be one of
the following: ACT PREP, a college visit, or cultural
Miami, Oklahoma – Tuesday, July 17, 2012 – Students and
staff at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, (NEO) were
excited to learn that NEO was one of few schools across the
nation whose Upward Bound program was selected for
another five-year grant. With recent federal budget cuts with
TRiO, programs with several years of existence were
defunded across the nation.
Upward Bound is a federally funded program that helps
students who are low income and/or first generation college
students obtain adequate preparation for higher education.
Students must sign up either their freshman or sophomore year Upward Bound students visiting the Capitol at Washington
in high school and continue their participation throughout D.C. in 2010
their high school career.
“We were very fortunate to be refunded in what is being called the most competitive Upward Bound Grant
competition in history, where 1 in 5 programs were not refunded,” said Elsie Grover, NEO’s Director of
Upward Bound. “Our successful grant application would not have happened without the great staff that we have
in addition to the invaluable support from the NEO administration, local businesses, and community members.”
Upward Bound was established in the 1960s on the federal level followed by Talent Search, and Student
Support Services who are now referred to as TRiO (among many other programs now). It started as a “war on
poverty” trying to give students from a disadvantaged background an opportunity to not only receive academic
assistance but also personal and cultural awareness.
“At this time, it is more important than ever to earn a college degree,” said NEO A&M College President Dr.
Jeff Hale. “The NEO administration is committed to providing greater access and promoting student success to
the students of far northeast Oklahoma.”
Upward Bound was established at NEO in the fall of 1999. NEO gives a two-year scholarship worth $2,700 to
students who successfully complete the program.
“Our current grant, which will end at the end of August, allows us to serve 60 students from the local seven area
high schools. With our new grant we will be able to provide assistance to a total of 70 students (an increase of
10 students),” Grover said. “ I have worked at various Upward Bound programs in Missouri and in Arizona, and
this is the first time I have seen such great support for the students who are in the program, by providing these
students with a scholarship.”
To gain entry into the program, students must either be a freshman or sophomore in high school and be either
low income and/or first generation, (and attend one of the seven, local high schools including: Afton,
Commerce, Fairland, Grove, Miami, Quapaw, and Wyandotte. They must already have the desire to go to
college followed by the commitment and dedication to follow through with the program throughout their high
The information below includes statistics from the Council for Opportunity in Education, (COE) regarding the
recent Upward Bound grant competition:
The recent Upward Bound competition was the most competitive in history, with 18% percent of
existing projects losing funding (171 projects serving 5,000 students) and a cut off score of 108.”
According to information from COE, the cuts are having a devastating impact:
Eighteen states lost at least 25 percent of programs serving students.
Eight states and four U.S. territories have lost more than 40 percent of their existing Upward Bound
programs, including 44 percent of programs in Montana and 46 percent of programs in Iowa.
Many Upward Bound programs that have been serving students for more than 30 years have been
eliminated, including original programs at Florida A&M University and Hampton University.
Programs that provide critical college access services to Native American populations throughout the
country are being forced to close their doors, including:
o Two programs at the Chickasaw Foundation in Oklahoma;
o One at Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council in New Mexico;
o One at the Ute Indian Tribe in Utah;
o One at the Chief Dull Knife College in Montana, and
o Programs at larger institutions that serve large numbers of Native American students such as the University
of South Dakota, Turtle Mountain Community College in North Dakota, and two programs at Montana Tech of
the University of Montana.
“So many Upward Bound programs that serviced Native American students were defunded, which is
devastating, but luckily NEO’s program was not one of them. The UB Staff at NEO is looking forward to
continue providing these great services to our local future leaders for the next five years,” Grover said.