TCC Awarded more than $4.6 Million to Help Low Income, First-Generation Students

TRIO Upward Bound will provide five years of funding to help 180 local students per year find their paths to college.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Tarrant County College (TCC) will receive federal Upward Bound grant funding of more than $4.6 million over the next five years to help more low-income students from three Tarrant County high schools (O.D. Wyatt, South Hills, and Everman) who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college. TCC South has hosted the Upward Bound Program continuously since 2003, serving more than 2,800 local high school students.

One of the federal TRIO Programs, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

Many Upward Bound alumni have gone on to great success, among them Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Correspondent for ABC News John Quiñones and Hall of Fame NBA player Patrick Ewing.

“I am ecstatic that TCCD will continue to impact the lives of young adults through the TRIO Upward Bound Programs – providing them with valuable services and helping them acquire the skills and motivation necessary to move into postsecondary education,” stated Trichele Davenport, TRIO Upward Bound director at TCC South.

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science and foreign language during the school year and the summer. Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In FY21, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects in the United States.

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal “TRIO” programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

“The TRIO Upward Bound Program has thrived at TCC South for nearly 20 years. Continued funding in support of the program will ensure that more high school students receive the support necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and beyond,” stated TCC Chancellor Elva LeBlanc.

“As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

As of 2021, more than 3,000 TRIO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRIO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.

About Tarrant County College 

Tarrant County College is one of the 20 largest higher education institutions in the United States and boasts the second-lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. As a comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County, and online, TCC offers a wide range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds that include traditional programs, such as Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training programs for area businesses and corporations. Students also may take advantage of Weekend College through which they can complete an associate degree in 18 months or less by attending class full-time through weekend and online classes. 


Tarrant County College District provides affordable and open access to quality teaching and learning.