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Upward Bound returns to MSU campus for its 55th summer

The Upward Bound (UB) program is returning to the Morehead State campus for its 55th year.  

UB has two distinct programs, UB Classic and UB Math and Science, serving students from 18 schools in 17 Eastern Kentucky counties including Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Harrison, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, Magoffin, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Robertson and Rowan. The programs seek to engage low-income and potential first-generation college students and equip them with the skills to prepare them for college.

Samantha Bryant, assistant director of UB Math and Science, said the majority of students who participate go on to become college students.

“At Morehead State University, we are fortunate to house four grants. Each of these grants come with their own, individual rates of success. However, over the last five years all four grants have met objects with success,” Bryant said. “One of these objectives provides that 70% of Upward Bound participants will enroll in college in either the fall or spring semester following their high school graduation. Even in the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, MSU Upward Bound alumni enrolled in postsecondary education at an astonishing rate of 93%.”

The programs offer instruction in math, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, financial literacy, college and career prep, and foreign languages. Participants also receive information on the college admissions process and scholarships and receive tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment trips, exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and internships. Students who are involved in the program spend four weeks on MSU’s campus each summer for a residential summer academy where they attend classes, go on college visits, attend cultural events and are exposed to college life.  

“Students have the ability to learn why attending college is important and to preview what it’s like to attend ahead of time,” said Matt Hyden, associate director of UB. “Students who come to UB are prepared to be great college students and have a clear path to college from high school.”

Students moved into campus residence halls on Sunday, June 6. They will stay on campus until Friday, July 2. Students and staff will follow all MSU and state protocols on COVID-19.

In order to qualify for Upward Bound, students must apply to the program, write an admissions essay and be interviewed by UB staff. UB is funded through a Department of Education grant and is offered free of cost for students.  

“The entire Upward Bound staff is elated to be given the opportunity to host students on campus once again,” Bryant said. “Seeing student faces in-person, even masked, is a reminder of their resilience and serves as a constant motivating force for the Upward Bound staff.”

For more information about Upward Bound at MSU, visit, email or call 606-783-9300.