Veterans Upward Bound Program – Help Improve Your Academic Skills

Many veterans have the GI Bill and want to attend college to better their education and increase their career opportunities, but because haven’t studied in years, are afraid to enroll in college. Do you find that you fit into this group? Fortunately for you, there is a little-known program called Veterans Upward Bound that can help you prepare for college, as well as take that next step in your educational journey.

The Veterans Upward Bound program is a free service for eligible veterans that is funded by the Department of Education. It is designed to encourage and assist you in pursuing post-secondary education options by helping to develop your academic and study skills through assessment, instruction and support. Completing the program will improve your educational opportunities because you will have the knowledge and skills necessary to finish a college degree program.

Assessment and Instruction

Once in the program, one of the first steps will be to assess your current academic skills. Testing results will help to establish a baseline of your skills. From there, you can enroll in refresher courses to increase your scores in your lower-graded areas. These course areas typically include:

– Math (through pre-calculus)
– Laboratory Science
– Composition
– Reading
– Literature
– Foreign Language
– Computer Skills

If you do not have a high school diploma, the program can also help you earn your General Educational Development (GED) first and then work to prepare you for college.


You can also receive other various types of support, including:

– Help with filling out college entrance and financial aid applications
– Help with filling out GI Bill education benefits applications
– Personal and academic advising and mentoring
– Career guidance and counseling
– tutoring
– Help finding scholarships, grants and loans
– Referral to other sources of help, such as state and local agencies, along with various veterans associations.


To be eligible for the program as a veteran, you must either:

– have been on active duty for at least 180 days
– have been released for medical reasons, if on active duty for less than 180 days
– be a member of a Selected Reserve called to active duty for 30 days or longer
– be a member of the Selected Reserve serving in a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.

Other eligibility requirements include:

– having a discharge other than dishonorable
– be a first-generation college student, meaning neither parent earned a four-year degree or come from a low-income family.

The Veterans Upward Bound program currently has 47 funded projects across the United States including one project in Puerto Rico, so assistance is generally close by. Most of the projects are also located on or near college campuses.

The program is there to help you; take advantage of it and start down the road to higher learning.


Photo thanks to Marion Doss under creative commons license on Flickr.

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