A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94
(CFDA No. 84.047)
I. Program Profile
Legislation: Higher Education Act (HEA) of l965, as amended, Title IV, Part A (20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-13) (expires September 30, 1997).
Purpose: To generate among low-income youths and potential first-generation college students enrolled in high school the skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school. The goal of the program is to increase the academic performance and motivation of eligible participants so that they may complete secondary school and successfully pursue postsecondary educational programs.
||Appropriation l/ ||Fiscal Year ||Appropriation 1/|
|1967 ||$28,000,000 ||1986 ||$ 72,338,636 |
|1970 ||29,600,000 ||1987 ||74,548,185 |
|1975 ||38,331,000 ||1988 ||80,413,638 |
|1980 ||62,500,000 ||1989 ||93,584,398 |
|1981 ||66,501,000 ||1990 ||100,781,325 |
|1982 ||63,720,000 ||1991 ||131,643,731 |
|1983 ||68,366,514 ||1992 ||158,759,000 |
|1984 ||70,754,376 ||1993 ||157,589,899 |
|1985 ||73,614,193 ||1994 ||162,500,000 |
1/ The allocations represent the amount allocated administratively by the Department from funds appropriate jointly for all six Federal TRIO programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers, Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement program, and the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel.
II. Program Information and Analysis
One performance measure is the effect of Upward Bound on participants' academic preparation for college. Evidence from the High School and Beyond (HS&B) survey shows positive effects of Upward Bound participation on reading achievement and educational expectations, but no effects on math achievement (Table 1).
Results From HS&B: Program Effects
||Math (less demanding test)
||Math (more2 demanding test)
|Random Selection ||2.92* ||2.77 ||-.30 ||2.76* |
|Normal Selection ||1.79 ||2.23 ||-2.73* ||3.57* |
*Statistically significant at .05 level.
1Refers to the number of correct answers on a scale of 1-20. For example, if randomly selected into Upward Bound or a control group, UB participants scored almost 3 points higher on a scale of 1-20.
2Refers to number of correct math answers on a scale of 1-10.
3Refers to years of education expected to attain.
Another program performance measure is the percentage of Upward Bound seniors who enter college. Although projects report this information to ED annually, it has not been aggregated.
To participate in Upward Bound (UB), students must be between the ages of 13 and 19 (except for veterans), have completed 8-years of elementary education, need academic support to successfully pursue a program of education beyond high school, be planning to go to college, and need the services in order to fulfill their goals. Participants are selected based upon recommendations from their counselors, teachers, and social agencies. Two-thirds of the project participants must be low-income persons (defined as less than 150 percent of poverty level) who are also potential first-generation college students. The remaining one-third must be either low-income or potential first-generation college students.
There are approximately 530 Upward Bound grantees serving over 40,000 students. Grants are usually for four years. However, applicants whose grant proposals are scored in the top 10 percent of a competition are awarded 5-year grants. In FY 1992, the Department also awarded additional funds to 75 Upward Bound regional centers to establish summer residential programs emphasizing math and science learning. These grants will be continued through 1994.
|FY 1993 Awards
||Math/Science Summer Program|
|Number of projects ||534 ||75 |
|Average award ||$267,540 ||$195,782 |
|Number of persons served ||41,835 ||3,542 |
|Average Federal cost per participant ||$3,416 ||$4,146 |
Students are recruited for participation in Upward Bound through their high schools, known as "target schools." These target schools are listed in the application; there are approximately 3,300 such schools served by UB projects throughout the country. Students in UB programs generally participate in an intensive 6-week summer residential or non-residential program held on a college campus. They continue to receive academic and support services during the school year, typically on weekends or after school.
All Upward Bound project must provide instruction in the following areas:
- math (through pre-calculus)
- laboratory science
- foreign language
In addition, the following services are typically provided in the academic year and summer components of the project:
- instruction in study skills and other subjects necessary for success in education beyond high school
- academic or personal counseling
- exposure to cultural events
- tutorial services
- information on student financial assistance assistance in completing college applications, financial aid applications, preparation for admissions tests and
- exposure to a range of career options.
Programs may be sponsored by institutions of higher education, public and private nonprofit agencies, or combinations of such entities. In exceptional cases, secondary schools may sponsor a project or be part of a combination of entities sponsoring a project. Grants are generally four years in length, with the best proposals receiving 5-year grants.
Prior experience points are earned by grantees that have conducted an Upward Bound project during the three years prior to the year in which a new application is submitted. Up to 15 points can be awarded based on the applicant's prior program performance as an Upward Bound grantee. The goal is to promote continuity in the delivery of services.
ED recently began an evaluation of Upward Bound that involves a randomly chosen sample of eligible program participants and a control group. This study involves a representative sample of 70 Upward Bound projects. Initial findings on program impact will be available in March 1995.
Upward Bound has been evaluated several times in the past. The most comprehensive evaluation of the program was undertaken by Research Triangle Institute between 1973 and 1979 (III.2). This study followed a sample of approximately 3,700 Upward Bound participants from 54 sampled projects and 2,300 non-participating matched comparison group students. Two follow-up surveys were conducted. The chief findings from this study were that:
- Upward Bound participants had substantially higher education expectations than non-participants, and these differences increased with the length of Upward Bound participation.
- Upward Bound had no effect on high school graduation rates, but significantly more participants entered postsecondary education. Those who enrolled in college were more likely to attend a four-year institution than non-participants. They were also more likely to attend colleges with high minority enrollment and that hosted an Upward Bound or Student Support Services project.
- Minorities, economically disadvantaged students and students classified as academic risks were particularly more likely to enter college from among Upward Bound participants than from the comparison group.
- Upward Bound participants were more likely to apply for financial aid, and although the probability of receiving aid did not differ from non-participants, aid packages for Upward Bound participants were more likely to include large grants.
- The duration of program participation was associated with an increased likelihood of postsecondary entry. Those in Upward Bound for 2 or 2 years were significantly more likely to enter college than those with a single year of program participation.
- No systematic differences were observed between former Upward Bound participants and non-participants on measures of postsecondary persistence. Similarly, there were few differences on measures of educational performance, although Upward Bound participants had lower grade point averages.
An analysis (III.3) of students in the High School and Beyond Senior survey found similar effects of program participation. Upward Bound participants were more likely to enter college and earned more credits than non-participants, but within 18 months after high school graduation, differences in postsecondary persistence were no longer significant.
A more recent examination (III.4) of data in the High School and Beyond surveys (sophomores and seniors) included an analysis of high school and postsecondary transcripts. The study found that when students are matched on the basis of type of high school attended, race/ethnicity, and family socioeconomic status:
- Upward Bound participants, prior to program entry, earned more math credits and had higher education aspirations than non-participants. Although the differences were not statistically significant, program participants also had slightly higher grade point averages, more science credits, and higher achievement test scores prior to program entry.
- Upward Bound enrollment increases the educational aspirations of students and reading achievement test scores.
- Upward Bound participants were more likely to enter postsecondary education, but two or three years after high school graduation, differences in postsecondary persistence had largely disappeared. There were no systematic differences in rates of college graduation or credits earned.
Management Improvement Strategies
The Department has recently begun to develop a revised set of regulations that will incorporate recent legislative changes. The new regulations will also improve the reliability of selection criteria, and prior experience point allocation criteria used by the Department. The regulations will improve project accountability and help the Department develop a better working relationship with the Upward Bound grantees.
III. Sources of Information
- Program files.
- Graham Burkheimer, John Riccobono, Joseph Wisenbaker, Final Report: Evaluation Study of the Upward Bound Program--A Second Follow-up, (Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute, 1979).
- Steven M. Jung and Applied Systems Institute, Reanalysis of High School and Beyond Data to Estimate the Impact of Upward Bound (Washington, DC: Applied Systems Institute, 1984).
- David Myers, "The Effects of Upward Bound and Supplemental Service Programs: Findings From Extant Data" (Rockville, MD: Westat, Inc., 1991).
IV. Planned Studies
The Department of Education has begun a major evaluation of Upward Bound. The first phase of the evaluation will assess the impact on participants during high school. The evaluation will use a random assignment experimental design.
V. Contacts for Further Information
- Program Operations:
- Prince Teal, (202) 708-4804
- Program Studies:
- David Goodwin, (202) 401-0182
[State Student Incentive Grants]