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A Historical Perspective

Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance. In support of this commitment, Congress established a series of programs to help Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs funded under Title IV of the Higher Education act of 1965 are referred to as the TRIO Programs (initially just three programs).


Veterans' Upward Bound programs evolved from the TRIO Programs to provide intensive basic skills development and short-term remedial courses for military Veterans' to help them successfully transition to postsecondary education. Veterans' learn how to secure support from available resources such as the Veterans' Administration, Veterans' associations and various state and local agencies that serve Veterans'. Approximately 4,200 participants are served annually.

The University of Tennessee Veterans'' Pre-College Program has been funded continuously since September 1989. It serves at least 150 students per program year (September - August) totaling over 1,900 Veterans' served to date.

As a member of our program, you will be a member of both the national Veterans'' Upward Bound and The University of Tennessee families; both rich in tradition. The University of Tennessee has educated scholars and enriched society with many talented graduates.

Who is Eligible?

U.S. Veterans' discharged (under conditions other than dishonorable) with less than a 4-year college degree and who meet the following criteria may be eligible:

  • Resident of a target county in the approved service area;
  • Low-income household according to federal guidelines, and/or neither parent graduated with a 4-year college degree;
  • Academic needs assessment indicates need for services;
  • Motivated to enroll and succeed in postsecondary education;
  • Available to participate in scheduled program activities

How To Apply?

Services are available at the main VUB facility on the campus of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at other convenient locations in our primary service area. Home Study options may be available for participants who qualify.

For a quick Eligibility Interview by phone, call (865) 974-4466

Frequently Asked Questions


-What is Veterans' UPWARD BOUND?

The Veterans' Pre-College Program at the University of Tennessee is a Veterans' Upward Bound (VUB) project that provides a unique array of academic and personal services for Veterans' who are about to enter college or other postsecondary education.

We offer Veterans' a welcome bridge between the military and college or university life. We are Veterans' helping Veterans'. Some need brushing up on their academic skills...or a head start on building some new skills. Others may need support during the application and registration phases of returning to school. Our goal is to help ease the transition into postsecondary education.

-What does Veterans' UPWARD BOUND offer?

  • Career Selection advising and assistance
  • Target School Selection advising and assistance
  • Financial Aid advising and application assistance
  • Academic Needs Assessment and program planning
  • Academic Instruction and Tutoring
  • College Life Adjustment and Study Skills workshops<
  • Referrals to other essential veteran services
  • Community service and cultural enrichment activities<

-What subjects does this VUB project cover?

  • Competency assessments in Math, Algebra, and Reading/Language
  • Basic Math, Algebra, Pre-Calculus
  • Lab Sciences and Foreign Languages
  • English, Writing Skills, and Literature
  • Social Studies and other academic subjects
  • Personal computer literacy including Internet skills
  • Word processing and other software skills

-What kind of program can I prepare to enter?

  • Public 2-year or 4-year college or university
  • Private nonprofit 2-year or 4-year college or university
  • Public nonprofit technical, vocational, or trade school
  • Proprietary school (private, for profit)
  • Other postsecondary program upon approval

-Is Veterans' UPWARD BOUND funded to pay for my education?

The project is not a direct source of funds to pay for your target postsecondary education program. The full array of services you will receive from VUB is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. There is no charge for VUB services...you earned these benefits by serving your country. Your VUB program advisor will help you identify and apply for all the sources of financial aid for which you are eligible...federal, state, local, or private sources. We make every attempt to help you qualify for financial assistance other than student loans that require repayment at interest.

-What special advantages do I gain from enrolling in this VUB project?

  • You are no longer "on your own" in trying to go back to school
  • Secure on-going access to the cumulative staff expertise
  • Identify or confirm appropriate career area suited to your personal interests, abilities, and goals
  • Identify your specific academic competency refresher needs and get help mastering them quickly and effectively
  • Prepare for successful target school application, admissions and financial aid processing
  • Help overcome various other barriers to postsecondary education success
  • Make new friends and build a veteran-friendly support group
  • Secure your eligibility for VUB support, even after you start school
  • Receive letters of support and/or recommendation as future education or employment-related opportunities occur

-Where is this program held and how do I apply?

Services are available at the main VUB facility on the campus of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at other convenient locations in our primary service area. Home Study options may be available for participants who qualify.

For a quick Eligibility Interview by phone, call (865) 974-4466
Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
or Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Outside the Knoxville Local Calling Area Dial Toll Free 1-877-656-VETS (1-877-656-8387)


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