‘Upward Bound’ Receives Over $16 Million in Federal Grants

The UTRGV program up recently received $16 million in grants to help more than 600 high school students from across the Rio Grande Valley earn college degrees. Image for illustrative purposes
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Texas Border Affairs

By Marisol Villarreal

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The UTRGV program up recently received $16 million in grants to help more than 600 high school students from across the Rio Grande Valley earn college degrees.

The five-year federal grants, submitted in the spring, were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to nine Upward Bound programs from Rio Grande City to Port Isabel, all of which are affiliated with UTRGV.

Upward Bound is a federal school support program and is one of eight TRIO programs within the US Department of Education.

The TRIO programs – administered, financed and implemented by the US Department of Education – are federal student outreach and services programs designed to identify and provide services to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including eight programs that help low-income people, first-generation students, and people with disabilities.

UTRGV serves as the financial agent for the grants and is responsible for providing high school students with all required Upward Bound program services. It also helps students transition into higher education and provides a variety of educational opportunities for K-12 partner schools.

“Upward Bound helps open the door to opportunities for Valley students who dream of a college education. With these grants, we can continue to provide a concentration of services to help build a prosperous future with strong academic foundations for current and prospective students,” said Cindy Valdez, Associate Vice President for College Access and K-12. Partnerships.

Rio Grande Valley partner schools benefiting from the grants include:

  • Edinburgh-Economedes High School.
  • Mission High School.
  • Edcouch-Elsa High School.
  • Brownsville-Lopez High School.
  • Porter Early College High School.
  • Rivera High School.
  • Rio Hondo High School.
  • Port Isabel High School.
  • La Grulla High School.
  • Rio Grande City High School.
  • Raymondville High School.
  • Lyford High School.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, this new funding ranks UTRGV second in the nation for number of grants and overall dollar amount and ranks first among grant-winning universities for grant opportunity. U.S. Department of Education Upward Bound.

The combined annual award for Upward Bound programs at UTRGV is $3.2 million for a five-year grant cycle from September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2027.

Upward Bound at UTRGV provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including students with disabilities or from low-income families, academic enrichment through tutoring, Saturday enrichment sessions, and a learning program. Six-week mandatory summer that includes teaching core courses such as English, math, science, a foreign language, and college preparation.

The program supports students academically and complements what they are doing in their high schools to help them transition through grade levels, graduate from high school, and eventually enroll in the university.

For more information on the Upward Bound program, visit:



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