The Veterans Upward Bound program at Ozarks Technical Community College is renewed for five years. With the renewal, OTC's VUB program can assist veterans from 15 counties throughout southwest Missouri who want to pursue higher education.
Ozarks Technical Community College’s Veterans Upward Bound program can now serve veterans in 15 Missouri counties. The U.S. Department of Education renewed OTC’s Federal TRIO Grant for an additional five years at $1.4 million. The initial grant in 2017 established a Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program to assist Greene County veterans with their pursuit of postsecondary education. With the grant renewal, the VUB may now assist veterans living anywhere in southwest Missouri.
“During our first five years, we’ve helped hundreds of veterans prepare for and enroll in college,” said Michelle Ciesielski, VUB program director. “Now, our team can assist anyone in our region who served in the military and wants to attend college.”
The grant funding provides advising, academic support, referral to community veterans’ resources, financial aid guidance and veterans’ benefits counseling to prepare participants to attend any college or university of their choosing. This voluntary program is free to veterans, and participants have no commitments. Veterans Upward Bound staff assist veterans with admission to any college, not just OTC.
Most veterans qualify for this program. Eligibility considers the veteran’s household income, first-generation college student status (neither parent is a college graduate), disability status, and other variables. Veterans must have better than a dishonorable discharge and demonstrate a need for assistance in their pursuit of higher education.
The Veterans Upward Bound program is one of the eight programs that make up the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal TRIO Grant Programs, which identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The 100 percent federally funded grant will provide $1,487,865 over five years. None of the financial resources come from non-governmental sources.
Students interested in accessing the VUB grant resources should call (417) 447-7840 or visit otc.edu/vub.