What is the Veterans Upward Bound Program?

Military service members returning to the home front after months or years on the frontlines should consider the Veterans Upward Bound program for a smoother transition. The VUB is a free, non-credit academic option for honorably discharged military to refresh their knowledge and skills for the college classroom. Its purpose is to deliver review courses in content areas like English literature, mathematics, science, and foreign language for veterans’ increased chance of finishing a post-secondary degree. Each veteran will attend approximately 180 sessions for remediation of high school material. Colleges participating in the VUB project share over $13.54 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education to ensure no monetary costs on military families beyond time and effort. Here we’ll cover everything you should know to sign up for the Upward Bound opportunity.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill 2015

Benefits of VUB Services

Joining the VUB Project will provide more than just no-cost academic courses; it’ll offer one-on-one guidance into the intensive college journey. Personalized counseling is given to help returning military fill out university applications, receive financial aid, choose a major, and pass entrance exams like the SAT or ACT. Aptitude assessments may be delivered to explore which careers align with each veteran’s interests. Individual or group tutoring in learning labs improves veterans’ motivation and support. Counselors could refer students to local resources, such as the VA and mental health providers. Other VUB benefits include computer access, resume writing workshops, cultural field trips, and study skills videos.

Eligibility for the VUB Project

The U.S. Department of Education only awards VUB grants to public and private higher learning institutions that are regionally accredited by CHEA-recognized agencies. Interested military service members must apply directly to one of these Veterans Upward Bound programs. You must be considered low-income with taxable pay that doesn’t exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, individuals with a family of three must make less than $30,240 combined yearly. Entrants must be first-generation college students, so no immediate relatives can have degrees. VUB participants need to have completed at least 180 days of active-duty service in the Armed Forces or Reserves on or after 9/11 too.

Finding Funded VUB Programs

According to Military.com, the United States and Puerto Rico currently hosts 49 VUB programs that generally accept Pell Grant-eligible veteran students. The majority are delivered at senior, four-year colleges to seamlessly enroll returning military in their degrees. You’ll find the program active at numerous top-ranked institutions, including Arizona State University, Western Kentucky University, East Tennessee State University, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The VUB Project has a proven track record of success in making military enlistees academically qualified to take college courses and excel in the civilian workforce. One Federal TRIO report showed that 96 percent of VUB participants were enrolled in college education with good standing the following year. As a veteran, you’ll be qualified for G.I. Bill benefits and perhaps military training credits to finish an associate or bachelor’s degree. Attending college is important because degree holders make about $32,000 more on average, are 47 percent more likely to have employer-based health insurance, and have 2.2 times lower chances of unemployment. Sharpen your skills to achieve a collegiate diploma after service by enrolling in a nearby Veterans Upward Bound program.