In 1965, Bowdoin College signed on to participate in a newly minted federal program that was part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Launched by the Department of Education, Upward Bound was designed to give high school kids from low-income backgrounds a boost in getting into college.
In the half century since then, Bowdoin’s Upward Bound program has graduated more than 2,000 students. Between 85% and 90% have gone on to college, which is twice the rate of their low-income, first-generation peers. All come from Maine towns with underfunded schools and high rates of poverty. Most are the first in their family to attend university.
Perhaps the most critical component of Upward Bound is its summer residential experience. Each July, about 100 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors travel to Bowdoin’s campus where they live in dorms, take classes and act like college students for six weeks. Read more about the program here: community.bowdoin.edu/news/?p=94080