Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a federally funded program for college-bound high school students who could benefit from academic support and may need increased motivation to realize their potential.

HSU’s Upward Bound Project provides fundamental support to 60 Garland County participants, grades 9-12, in their preparation for college entrance. The program is designed to teach academic skills, generate motivation in participants, and provide opportunities for them to complete secondary education, succeed in pre-college performance, and gain admission to and successfully complete higher education pursuits.

Upward Bound provides academic challenges and emotional and social support to raise participants’ self-concept, enhance their self-development, and achieve their full potential. Upward Bound tailors individual learning experiences to meet the needs of each participant and strives to provide worthwhile activities to challenge each participant to achieve his or her fullest potential.

Student Commitments

  • Persist through high school and earn a diploma
  • Attend academic tutoring to improve grades and academic achievement scores in English, Reading, Science, Math/Algebra
  • Participate in meetings, field trips, and cultural events (some held after school, on Saturdays, and during the summer session)
  • Abide by rules and regulations of the program and the high school
  • Involvement includes:
    • Tutoring and supplemental instruction
    • Participating in Campus Tours and Cultural Enrichment activities (some held on Saturdays)
    • Fulfilling all requirements for attendance, GPA (2.5 or higher), academic tutoring, goal setting, career and course advising, and mentoring
    • Attending college FAFSA, financial literacy, and scholarship workshops
    • Modeling commitment and active participation in the summer program
    • Joining ACT prep workshops and taking college entrance exams during junior and senior years
    • Enrolling in college preparatory classes and/or concurrent college courses
    • Pledging to complete a course of study beyond high school

Goals of the Program

  • Participant will have a GPA of 2.5 of better on a 4.0 scale at the end of the school year.
  • Participant will achieve at least proficient level on state assessments in reading, language arts, and math.
  • Participant will continue in school each year into the next grade level, or will graduate from secondary school with a regular secondary school diploma.
  • Participant will complete a rigorous secondary school program of study while.
  • A prior participant who graduated from high school will enroll in a program of postsecondary education by fall term immediately following high school.
  • Participant who is enrolled in postsecondary program of study will attain either an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years following high school graduation.


Academic Year

  • Participate in tutoring, workshops, field trips and cultural activities
  • Prepare for the ACT
  • Learn about financial aid and literacy. Apply for aid
  • Take college hop tours

Summer Component

  • Participate for two weeks in core curricula classes selected from math, science, English, social studies, foreign language, study skills and computer science. Elective courses may be included.
  • Take college hop and industry tours
  • Participate in cultural enrichment activities such as theatre shows, museums, zoos, etiquette banquets, etc.

Residential Component

  • Live two weeks on HSU campus
  • Participate in core curricula classes taught by college faculty
  • Participate in social activities
  • Learn student success strategies

Who is Eligible?

Any student attending one of the target high schools is eligible to apply. Additional requirements are listed below:

  • Must have completed the 8th grade and be at least 13 years old but not older than 19 years

Students must qualify in at least one of the following:

  • Low-income (guidelines set forth by the federal government)
  • First generation college student (i.e., no natural or adoptive parent living in the home has a four-year college degree)
  • Have college potential but need academic support to be successful in college

In addition to the above criteria, admission to the Henderson State University Upward Bound Program is based on counselor and teacher recommendations.

How to Apply

In order to be considered, please download and complete, with appropriate signatures, the following documents. All forms must be returned before applications can be considered. Forms may be emailed, faxed, dropped off at the office location, or given to a high school counselor (see contact information below). 

  1. UB application (must be signed by student and student's parents)
  2. Student Commitment, Goals, and Consent (signed by student)
  3. Student Autobiography
  4. Parent Commitment and Consent (signed by parents)
  5. One (1) Counselor Recommendation form 
  6. Two (2) Instructor Recommendation forms 
  7. Copy of your social security card (attach it to application)

Contact Us

Email:  upwardbound@hsu.edu
Phone:  870-345-3554
Fax:  870-345-3711
590 West Grand Ave., Hot Springs, AR  71901 (Ground floor in the Chamber of Commerce)
Social Media: @hsuUpwardBound


Maggie Picking, Associate Director

Sheri Phillips, Advisor 

Annette Wegener, Administrative Assistant