Upward Bound is open to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors from low-income homes who demonstrate a need for academic assistance and who are the first in their families to seek a college education. UofL participants come from Jefferson County Public Schools.

The university will receive about $668,000 a year from two federal grants. The total funding amounts to $3.3 million.

Students enrolled in the Upward Bound program at UofL receive year-round instruction in math, English, computer literacy and other subjects. They remain in the program until they finish their first semester of college and their progress is tracked until they receive their first four-year degree.

More than 3,500 students have taken part in Upward Bound at UofL since 1966, said Mary Thorpe, program director.

“Our results from tracking the students are very encouraging,” she said. “We’ve exceeded our college acceptance and enrollment goals for 27 years, and 653 of our students have enrolled in college since 1995.”

Parent involvement has played a major role in the program’s success, she added.

“For the past six years, at least one parent of every Upward Bound student has participated in three or more campus activities. Getting our students’ families on board with what their kids are doing has made a huge difference.”

UofL’s Office of Community Engagement administers the Upward Bound program.