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The University of Arkansas Fort Smith is funded to serve a combined total of 124 students annually in its Upward Bound Classic and Upward Bound Math and Science. Approximately 40-50 new students, primarily 9th graders, are accepted each year to replace Upward Bound graduates and those no longer participating in the program.

Upward Bound Classic focuses its student programming on a wide variety of college and career planning activities throughout the entire year. Upward Bound Math and Science focuses its yearly programming on college and career planning activities that are specifically geared towards students who have an interest in STEM fields (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics).

As a federally funded TRIO program, Upward Bound at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith may only serve students in grades 9 – 12 who meet specific eligibility requirements and attend one of the eight area schools served by the program.

Interested students can request an application during the annual Upward Bound recruitment period (August-October) by contacting their school counselor or the Upward Bound office directly. Please see the Upward Bound application process for more information or connect with a member of the UB staff.

Eligible applicants are selected based on a combination of criteria including, application essay, teacher recommendations, grades, need for the program, interview, and student commitment.

There is absolutely no cost to join and participate. As a federally funded program, all Upward Bound services are FREE for participants including tutoring, instruction, field trips, ACT prep courses, and all costs associated with the Summer Academy and Upward Bound Bridge program.

Students are expected to fully participate in the academic year and summer components of the program until graduation from high school. In addition, students are required to adhere to all Upward Bound rules and guidelines and exhibit appropriate behavior at all program sponsored events and activities.

The goal of Upward Bound is to help students find their perfect “college fit”. While many of our Upward Bound graduates do attend the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, many apply to and are accepted to other colleges and universities in Arkansas and throughout the country. In the past three years, our Upward Bound graduates have started their college careers at places such as Arkansas Tech, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Central Arkansas, University of Arkansas Little Rock, Hendrix College, as well as a few out of state colleges.