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Upward Bound

Program Overview

The Virginia Union University Upward Bound Program is a 100-percent federally funded grant program, sponsored through the U.S. Department of Education, with funding to serve 83 students from the Richmond Public School System to provide fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelors degree and high school students from low-income families. The goals of Upward Bound are to; prepare underrepresented high school students for successful application and entry into postsecondary education and to increase the number of low-income and first generation students earning a college degree. 

The Upward Bound Program has two phases – the Academic Year Saturday Academy and the Summer Residential Institute. During the Academic Academy, students spend two (2) Saturdays a month on campus between September and May. For the duration of the Summer Institute, students spend five (5) or six (6) weeks as mock college students on the campus. 

Throughout both phases students are involved in academic classes, on-campus tutoring, group and individual counseling sessions, organized recreation, and a variety of cultural experiences. Additionally, program staff regularly visits the target high schools to work with administrators, guidance staff and teachers in meeting the needs of participants. Campus visits/college tours, field trips, recreational and cultural activities are all integral parts of the Upward Bound Program. These activities are scheduled to provide students with new experiences, exposure to a variety of college campuses, cultural awareness and enrichment. 

Click here for the 2017-2018 Academic Calendar for Upward Bound

Eligibility Requirements


  • Enrolled in a Richmond Public High School
  • Rising 9th, 10th or 11th grader
  • Interest in attending a college or University after high school
  • Neither parent nor legal guardian has graduated from a four year college or university
  • Must meet income and academic requirements

Participating Schools

High Schools

  • Armstrong High School
  • John Marshall High School 
  • George Wythe High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Franklin Military Academy
  • Huguenot High School
  • Open High
  • Richmond Community

Why Upward Bound?   

Academic Advising and Tutoring
In weekly sections, students receive tutoring in the classes they’re currently taking, plus advice on planning your future coursework to prepare for college.

College Campus Tours
Ready for a road trip? Students go on an average of two college tours a year.

Parent Programs
Upward Bound encourages parents to get involved with their children's education. We offer an orientation session for parents of new Upward Bound participants, and parents of continuing UB students receive information on college and financial aid options.

Join UB on the Virginia Union University Campus for workshops on college preparation and the admissions process. 
Students participate in:

  • Information on the full range of Federal Student Financial Aid programs and benefits
  • Guidance and assistance on secondary school reentry, alternative education programs, and entry into general educational development programs or postsecondary education
  • Workshops including, but not limited to:
    • Career building
    • Goal setting
    • Test taking
    • Writing improvement
    • Budget development
    • Branding
    • Time management

Summer Residential Program
Students live in campus residence halls and are immersed in a concentrated, challenging and supportive learning environment.

Field Trips  
Explore the world with UB's field trips. Some regular destinations include Broadway plays in New York City. theme parks, and historical museums

Financial Help
Earn a stipend each week during the Fall Saturday Academy and Summer Residential Institute. Program participants qualify to receive fee waivers for college applications and college preparatory exams (SAT I /SAT II and ACT).


The Tom Joyner Foundation “Full Ride” Scholarship – Awards a full scholarship to one student to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Learn more at

The Burger King Scholars program – Designed to help high-school senior who are looking to start college next year.  Annually, the program awards more than $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students.  Learn more at

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (also known as the Bill Gates Scholarship) – Awards scholarships each year to African American students who plan to enroll full-time in a two-year or four-year college or university program. Learn more at

The Ron Brown Scholar Program – Provides scholarship awards to African-American high school seniors who are excelling in their academics, exhibiting exceptional leadership potential, and actively serving in community service activities. Learn more at

The Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarship Program – Sponsored by Discover Financial Services. The program recognizes students in their junior year of high school who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their communities.  Learn more at

The National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) – Provides four scholarships each year to African-American students currently in law school.  Each applicant will be required to complete an essay on a topic that is related to the specific scholarship for which they are applying. Learn more at

Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships (RMHC) – For African American Future Achievers are awarded to eligible high school students with high academic performance and community service as well as financial need. Learn more at

The Talbots Scholarship Program – Awards one-time scholarships to women who want to go back to school to earn their undergraduate degree after graduating from high school or receiving their GED at least ten years ago.  Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Learn more at

The Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship Program – Awards scholarships to college juniors and seniors who demonstrate leadership qualities in support of freedom, American values and constitutional principles. Learn more at

The NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program – Open to both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a career in the field of aeronautics. It is a renewable scholarship for U.S. citizens and nationals. Learn more at 

 To search hundreds of other 2014 scholarships, visit

Class of 2017-2018

Jejuana Adkins-Jefferson

Maxwell Ajala

Camron Allen

Jamill Austin

Keshawn Brooks

Tekuilla Chatman

DeJohn Covington

Chany’a Craig

Polyte Davis

Ashley Drummond

Destiny Ellison

Bethany Flethcher

Etaja Green

Malachi Haden

Lasasha Hanks

Bryanna Harvey

Michelle Hernandez

Kavin Jackson

Janekia Jean

Darrius Kenny

Ibrahim Maday

Rockia Marable

Jamesha May

Nyrah Mayfield-Smith

James Moorehead

Melvin Noel

De’Quan Randolph

Brittany Spain

Mark Spears

Ariana Walker

Contact Us

Virginia Union University 
Baptist Memorial Building, 2nd Floor
1500 North Lombardy Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 257-5899 
Fax: (804) 257-5832