Big Spring High School student eligibility:


  • First-generation college students (meaning no parents/guardians have a bachelor’s degree or higher) 
  • Enrolled in 9th – 12th grades  
  • Meet federal income guidelines 
  • Students with academic potential/need 
  • A U.S. Citizen or a legal Permanent Resident

What is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is a federally funded college preparatory program for high school students. Upward Bound serves: high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.  

We offer services to a selected group of high school students who meet our criteria. Our services include Saturday academies during the school year, trips to a college campus, tutoring, a six-week summer program, and parent workshops.  

UB provides academic advisement as well as academic instruction for students throughout high school in order to prepare them for college curriculum, and we track each student until they graduate from college. The program is 100% federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education and all services are FREE to participants. Our program is funded to serve 60 students from the Big Spring High school! 

Upward Bound Services

  • Academic tutoring in core areas (e.g., study skills, reading, writing, math, science)  
  • Academic instruction in pre-calculus, lab science, foreign language, composition, and literature 
  • Academic, personal, and career advising  
  • Enrichment (standardized exam preparation, college application process and assistance, financial literacy, communication skills, career exploration, leadership development) 
  • Mentoring and service learning 
  • College visits and trips to educational/cultural venues
  • Parent workshops (topics to include financial aid and college application processes) 

Upward Bound Benefits

0 %
86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in college after high school!

Helps Students Prepare for College  

Through instruction, tutoring, and advising, Upward Bound helps students gain the skills they need to succeed in high school and college. In addition to academic support in subjects like math and writing, students gain important skills that will help them throughout their lives. (e.g., organization, time management, networking) 

Builds Learning Communities 

In addition to receiving academic support, career counseling, and more, Upward Bound connects students from similar backgrounds, providing them with a support system that can last for years. 

How to Get Started

  1. Obtain an application from your school counselor or Upward Bound staff member
  2. Print one from these links (pdf)
    1. English application
    2. Aplicación en Español
  3. Apply with our online application

Students will be interviewed after the application is submitted and recommended by an Upward Bound staff member or BSHS teacher or counselor.  

Upward Bound Contacts

Tommie Alvarez, Upward Bound Project Director 
(432) 264-5156 


Courtney Brockman, Upward Bound Coach 
(432) 264-5647 


Admission Requirements: 

To be considered for admission into Upward Bound, students must be:

  • First-generation college students (meaning no parents/guardians have a bachelor’s degree or higher) 
  • Enrolled in 9th-12th grade 
  • Meet federal income guidelines 
  • Students with academic potential/need 
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal Permanent Resident 
  • Must attend a target school: Big Spring High School 

Program Requirements: 

  • Students must have an interest in and desire to attend college. 
  • Students must be willing to fully participate in UB in the summer and during the school year. 
  • Upward Bound gives preference to students who are willing to remain in the program through graduation from high school. 

* NOTE: Students first enroll in Upward Bound during 9th or 10th grade but continue to participate until they graduate from high school. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Upward Bound provides academic support to high school students so they may complete high school, enroll in college, and successfully obtain a college degree. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Programs division, qualifying participants come from families who meet federal income guidelines or are first-generation college students. Upward Bound was established by the Federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965. It was considered part of the War on Poverty program of US President Lyndon B Johnson. 

Participants must attend Big Spring High School and have the desire to attend college, and be the first generation in his/her family to go to college and/or come from a low-income household. Students must also have academic needs as determined by an Upward Bound Academic Coordinator. 

All services provided to Upward Bound students, including the six-week summer programs, trips, and tutoring services, are provided free of charge. There is no cost to families. 

Students who are accepted into Upward Bound are accepted for the remainder of their high school careers provided they keep their grades up and continue to participate. We ask that students attend all Upward Bound sponsored events. Remember, you cannot get anything out of a program you do not put anything into. We promise to make an investment in your education, if you promise to invest your time and energy by participating. 

No, but we provide advice and guidance for families to complete financial aid applications such as FAFSA. We also connect students to specific scholarships and access programs, help with scholarship applications, write recommendation letters, and help families understand financial aid offer letters.