Upward Bound is sponsored by the United States Department of Education and is hosted by Florida State University. It is the oldest and most successful Federal TRiO Program. The goal of Upward Bound is to help students overcome academic, environmental, social, and cultural barriers to higher education. Upward Bound Programs do this by providing high school students with information, counseling, academic instruction, tutoring, assistance with college admission and the financial aid process, motivation and guidance to ensure that they successfully graduate from high school and college.
In the late 1960's, Upward Bound was established as one of the initiatives of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" campaign. The central idea of the program was to link institutions of higher education with target schools in an effort to expose students, who have been defined as low income and potential first generation college students, to postsecondary education. Each year more than 50,000 students participated in over 800 Upward Bound Programs nationwide, including Puerto Rico.
In 1989, Florida State University established the Upward Bound Program at Shanks High School in Quincy, FL. In Fall 2003, East Gadsden High School opened, and the FSU Upward Bound Program relocated there to continue to serve the high school students of Gadsden County, FL. Consistently, the Upward Bound Program has served to enhance the academic and personal skills of students in high school while preparing them for college admission, retention, and graduation.