Northern Vermont University is now part of Vermont State University! Please visit for accurate information.

Lyndon Upward Bound

Explore the Possibilities with NVU-Lyndon’s Upward Bound Program

Upward Bound at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that is committed to providing modest-income first-generation college bound students the academic background, college preparatory experiences and support needed to succeed in college immediately after high school.

Our program works with 70 area high school students from the Northeast Kingdom and Northern New Hampshire who are required to meet one of the two following criteria: they will be the first in their family to graduate from college, or they are from a low-to-moderate income family. Two thirds of our students must meet both of these requirements.

Upward Bound students spend six weeks of the summer on Lyndon’s campus. Our students have four hours of college preparatory course work during the mornings, three hours of volunteer work in our community each afternoon, and spend evenings engaged in a variety of activities designed to expand their educational opportunities and promote cultural and inter-personal growth to further prepare them for post-secondary education.

NVU-Lyndon Upward Bound will provide:

  • Intensive instruction in college preparatory academic skills
  • Guidance and counseling with regard to educational and career opportunities
  • Assistance with college planning including financial aid, college applications, college tours and SAT preparation
  • A comprehensive counseling and enrichment program for the purpose of developing creative thinking, effective expression, and positive attitudes toward learning
  • Chromebooks, AP, Dual Enrollment, and SAT fee waivers, and a $100 monthly stipend

Upward Bound is a FREE program for students and families. Learn more about what we do and how to participate below, and check out our November 2021 newsletter or visit our website at


Rick Williams, Director

As a service to you and your family, Upward Bound offers consultation in completing financial aid forms and scholarship applications. All Upward Bound students will complete the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Students Aid, and the VSAC (or New Hampshire’s NHHEAF) Grant Application.

FAFSA and State Forms

All students in their senior year and their parents will be expected to attend our financial aid meeting in January where families will submit both the federal and state forms to ensure the most financial aid they are eligible for. Please be aware that the federal government expects that the benefit of a college education is the responsibility of the students and the parents. Although many of our students have a “0” Expected Family Contribution (EFC), The U.S. Department of Education will determine how much you can afford to pay for college. This will be based on your family’s income and assets.


Upward Bound students do not get scholarships simply because of Upward Bound. However, Upward Bound makes students aware of scholarships for which they are eligible. A scholarship is free money based on how good of a scholar you are! In addition to making students aware of these scholarships, we will also require many students to write essays and apply if we think it will help them in their college quest. Additionally, we will write letters of recommendation for all of our students for both college and scholarships. Here are a few we recommend each year:

Dell Scholarship: Due in January

All Upward Bound seniors are eligible if they have a GPA of 2.4 or higher. This is a renewable scholarship. Learn more at Dell Scholars Program.

Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship: Due in April

All seniors are eligible if they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, but Upward Bound students have a much better chance of being awarded this scholarship because we are a sponsoring organization. Check other eligibility criteria at The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Fortier Scholarship: Due in February

All Upward Bound seniors with a GPA of 2.89 or higher are eligible for one of two $500 scholarships. This scholarship has been given from two former Lyndon Upward Bound students, Justin and Bryan Fortier. NVU-Lyndon Upward Bound students are the only students eligible.

The Upward Bound/VEOP Scholarship: Due in February

All Upward Bound seniors are eligible for these scholarships. Submit an essay before the deadline and you are guaranteed to receive the Upward Bound scholarship. These essays will then be entered into the VEOP Scholarship competition.

Discover Scholarship: Currently Not Offered

All juniors are eligible if their 9th and 10th grade cumulative GPA is at least 2.75. Students apply online and write essays on Leadership, Community Service and Obstacles Overcome. This was discontinued for 2012, but may be reinstated in the future.

VSAC Scholarships: Due in February

VSAC sponsors many scholarships with different eligibility criteria. We will provide VSAC Scholarship books as soon as they are available; you can also find them online. VSAC-sponsored scholarships are only open to Vermonters, but they provide information on other scholarships for which NH students are eligible.

NHCF Scholarships: Deadlines Vary

Most NHCF scholarships are only for New Hampshire students, but a few are open to Vermonters as well. Find more information at New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Upward Bound offers participants a number of unique and challenging opportunities that are available only to Upward Bound and TRiO students. To be considered for participation in these events, you have to work hard academically, complete homework, attend classes regularly, meet with the Upward Bound staff regularly and, whenever necessary and if possible, get tutoring. If you are meeting our expectations, you may be selected to participate in some of the following events.

National TRiO Day Celebration

Whenever possible, Upward Bound sends juniors, accompanied by staff, to a regional conference in February. Selection for this weekend event is based on academic standing, ability to assume responsibility, leadership qualities and desire to attend. This conference allows participants to visit regional colleges and learn about other TRiO programs (UB Math-Science, Talent Search, Student Support Services and GEAR UP).

New England Student Leadership Conference

A three-day event held annually in September. Participants are selected based on the ability to assume responsibility, demonstrate leadership qualities and desire to attend. This conference allows participants to learn from and share experiences with other Upward Bound and Talent Search students from New England.

Sailing and Hiking

Each year Upward Bound tries to identify and offer unique personal leadership training experiences. These have included seven-day ocean sailing trips and three-day mountain camping/hiking trips. Selection is based on an essay and/or recommendation of faculty and staff.  Upward Bound covers all room and board and travel expenses.

Scholars Bowl

The Green Mountain Scholars Bowl is held annually in the spring. Upward Bound selects teams to join in the friendly competition.  Selection is based on interest, academic standing and continued participation. The prize for the winning teams is scholarship money for their programs.

Sophomore Summit

This is a day long conference for sophomores held at the University of Vermont in the fall. Since this occurs on a school day, sophomores must be in good academic standing to be selected.

Greening Summit

This competition, co-sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders, takes place in November and requires a team of students to write and then present to a panel of expert judges their unique plan for ways to make their school or community more environmentally friendly. The prize for winning teams is scholarship money or funds to implement their project ideas.

Three For All College Tours

This is a day long conference intended for freshman and sophomores held at the University of Vermont, Champlain College and St. Michael’s College. This event is held in late spring. Students attend workshops on transitioning to college and student life on campus. Only students in good academic standing may attend.

John F. Kennedy Leadership Conference

This leadership conference takes place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. It brings together TRiO students from all over New England for a day filled with workshops, a tour of the Museum and inspirational guest speakers. This conference takes place over April vacation and we usually bring 5 students and visit a college or museum during our trip.

Summer Residential Program

We are a year-round academic, educational opportunity program with a six-week summer residential program. We work as “academic guidance counselors” providing comprehensive support to maximize student performance and enhance educational opportunities. But the residential component of Upward Bound is what makes our program so effective.

During the summer program our students will have 4 hours of college preparatory courses, 3 hours of community service and will be surrounded by 49 other college-bound students. In Wheelock residence hall, our students will have tutor counselors, many who were Lyndon Upward Bound students and are now attending or have recently graduated from various colleges around the country. These TC’s are the best role models for our program and help our students to understand the preparation, hard work and commitment that it takes to complete their college degree. You can find more information on the summer program at the end of this handbook.

Summer Work Study Placement

All of our students will volunteer around 75 hours each summer. Although this is community service and will be based on your career goals, you will receive a stipend each week during the summer. We have high expectations for our students in these placements.

SAT Preparation

You will learn to enhance vocabulary, math reasoning, writing and test taking skills necessary for the SAT test. You will take practice exams during the summer to familiarize yourself with the format and time limitations of the test. You are expected to take the SAT in the spring of your junior year and fall of your senior year. The weekend prior to each suggested SAT testing date, you are expected to attend the Upward Bound SAT Prep Refreshers.

College Advising

Our primary role as Upward Bound counselors is to provide academic, career, and educational advising along with any personal counseling support as warranted. Services are available year round. We both serve all participants in their schools. During the academic year, we meet with each individual student at least monthly either during a free period or after school.

SAT, PSAT, AP, and College Application Fee Waivers

Every Upward Bound student will receive waivers to take the SAT, the PSAT and up to 5 college application fee waivers. Because these tests are a crucial part of your college portfolio, we expect that every student will take them. We will offer you fee waivers, but we also expect you to copy the results for Upward Bound. For any students that take the AP exams, we will also make sure that these tests are paid for. Colleges will review these test scores and offer you college credit if you do well enough.

Travel Opportunities

We offer field trips and workshops to all Upward Bound students who are in good academic standing. We find that the opportunity to visit colleges has as significant an impact on the sophomore as it does on the senior. However, maintaining good grades and regular school attendance must take priority over Program activity participation. This means students with poor grades and/or high absenteeism should not participate in the Upward Bound school day activities. Student progress is evaluated prior to field trips. Due to financial and/or space considerations, the number of participants may be limited for some field trips, workshops and conferences. All expenses will be covered for students that travel with our program. Our goal is to offer each student opportunities to help better prepare them for success in college. Conference registration, meals, transportation and overnight accommodations will all be covered by our federal grant.

All Lyndon Upward Bound students will have an opportunity to develop a strong commitment to volunteer work. Each student’s will be offered several experiences to enhance their long term interest in volunteerism.

All of our students will volunteer at least 75 hours each summer through our summer work study program. Although this is community service and will be based on your career goals, you will receive a stipend each week during the summer. We have high expectations for our students in these placements and our partners really enjoy working and teaching our students!

All in addition to 150–225 hours of community service through our summer work program.

Warm the Children – Each year our students help to distribute $9,000 worth of new, warm winter clothing to the Northeast Kingdom’s neediest families.

Hand to Hand – Each holiday season, Upward Bound students sponsor two families in our area with a full holiday meal and presents.

Santa Fund – Upward Bound raises money every year for the Santa Fund in St. Johnsbury and they also deliver a box full of toys that go to children in the area.

Burklyn Arts – Students volunteer at the Burklyn Arts Fair on July 4th and during their Holiday Craft Fair in early December.


You must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • First generation — You must be from the first generation in your family who will obtain a four-year college degree.
  • Income — Families must have a modest income. Eligibility is based on family unit size and taxable income.
  • Additionally, 2/3 of our accepted students must meet both requirements.

And attend one of our cooperating high schools:

  • Blue Mountain High School
  • Canaan Memorial High School
  • Craftsbury Academy
  • Danville High School
  • Hazen High School
  • Lake Region High School
  • Lyndon Institute
  • Rivendell Academy
  • St Johnsbury Academy
  • Woodsville High School

Application Process


  1.  Student applies by filling out personal information on page 1 and 2 of application, download form below.
  2.  Parents complete Family Financial Statement and Transcript Release Form.
  3.  Guidance Counselor completes recommendation, after receiving the signed Transcript Release Form.
  4.  Math, Science, or English teacher completes recommendation.
  5.  Completed applications can be sent to Upward Bound or turned in at the high school’s Guidance Office.
  6.  Before returning application, please be sure that signatures are included.
  • Student Interview — An Upward Bound staff member meets with each applicant at their high school to discuss the student’s interest.
  • Parent Interview — An Upward Bound staff member may meet with the applicant’s family at their home or school to discuss the program in depth and answer questions.

Apply to NVU-Lyndon Upward Bound

Vermont State University logo

Northern Vermont University will join with Castleton University and Vermont Technical College to become Vermont State University on July 1, 2023. Learn more and apply for fall 2023.

Learn More and Apply