Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a program funded through the US Department of Education. Murray State University was funded to serve two Upward Bound Classic Grants.

Upward Bound is for high school students want to attend college or vocational school after their high school graduation. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.  Upward Bound is funded through the Department of Education.

Our mission

To motivate, assist, and promote qualified high school students to pursue a four-year college degree by building academic skills and social development through exposure to a variety of career, cultural, academic, and social experiences.

Two grants for Classic Upward Bound

Upward Bound - Charleston

Services four schools in three states: Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.

  • Calloway County High School
  • Charleston High School in Missouri
  • Marshall County High School and
  • Henry County High School

Director: Buffy Blanton

Upward Bound - Christian County

Serves Christian County High School

Director: Leigh Conyers


Application coming soon!

A group photo of students at a Saturday Session.

Monthly Saturday Session - Students attend a session one Saturday per month.

Who is eligible for Upward Bound? 

To be eligible for Murray State Upward Bound a student must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • A U.S. citizen or eligible resident that attends one of the following target area schools:
    • Calloway County
    • Christian County
    • Charleston, Missouri
    • Marshall County
    • Henry County

The student must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Income guideline established by the US Department of Education
  • First generation student (neither parent obtained a four-year college degree)

Free services offered

Students hold up paintings they created during a field trip to Fisk University

The students enjoyed Painting The Town.

  • ACT prep and practice tests
  • Tutoring Assistance online
  • College Tours
  • Field trips, cultural and educational events
  • Workshops
  • Saturday Sessions (once a month)


  • A monthly stipend during the academic school year and summer. Students must be active in the program and complete activities assigned.
  • Assistance completing college applications
  • Assistance preparing for college entrance exams
  • Assistance in completing financial aid and scholarship information


Buffy Blanton
Buffy Blanton
Upward Bound Charleston
240 Blackburn
Leigh Conyers
Upward Bound Christian
239A Blackburn
Ellen Uddberg
Ellen Uddberg
Program Coordinator
Upward Bound Christian, Charleston,
Calloway, Henry, Marshall
203 Blackburn
Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas
Academic Coordinator
Upward Bound Charleston
203 Blackburn
Brittney Williams 
Academic Coordinator
Upward Bound Christian
203 Blackburn