Upward Bound

Upward Bound is one of the educational opportunity programs referred to as the TRiO Programs created with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the original War on Poverty statute. In 1968 the program was transferred to the Higher Education Act. As a TRiO program, Upward Bound’s overall goal is to help students to overcome class, academic, social, and cultural barriers to higher education. In addition to the Upward Bound Program at Simpson College, there are over 816 Upward Bound programs in operation throughout the United States and its territories.

The Simpson College Upward Bound program strives to provide individualized assistance and opportunities for students in grades 9 thru 12 to succeed in their high school performance and ultimately in their college pursuits. This is done through intensive advising services and by providing students with rigorous and nurturing academic support as well as culturally enriching activities.

Simpson College Upward Bound has been in existence since 1999 and serves fifty low-income, first- generation-college-bound students recruited from a total of six high schools in the Des Moines and Warren County communities.

Target Schools

Des Moines Public Schools Warren County Schools
East High School Indianola High School
Lincoln High School (Main & RAILS) Norwalk High School
North High School Southeast Warren High School

Prospective Students

  • Simpson College Upward Bound (UB) program does not accept students into their program any earlier than 9th grade, but you are encouraged to complete your application and turn it in before the end of 8th grade. Students may apply to the program anytime during their 9th, 10th, or 11th grade year of high school, but space is limited each year and acceptance is on a first come first serve basis. Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria and all deadlines will be invited to participate in an applicant interview selection process.
  • All applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  • Applicants must be members of families that meet current year federal income guidelines*and/or be among the “first generation” in their family to go to college (A “first generation” student is defined as one who does not live with a parent who has graduated from college with a baccalaureate degree). *A student who does not qualify in either criteria is ineligible to participate in Upward Bound.
  • Upward Bound seeks applicants who have the motivation and potential, but lack support to pursue a college education.

You can request Simpson College Upward Bound information from your counselor’s office or call our office at 515-961-1210.