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Ohio University Funds Its Own Upward Bound

Ohio University Funds Its Own Upward Bound

Ohio University had announced earlier that there’d be no federal funding for Upward Bound, a program to help low-income and first-generation college students. In a rare instance of good news, they’ve decided to fund it themselves.

To be clear, the Department of Education hasn’t defunded Upward Bound in general; they just denied Ohio University’s application, among 40 others. That said, Trump’s budget does scale back on the program, so we may see more denied applications in the future.

Which is pretty awful, since there’s evidence that Upward Bound is extremely effective at preparing students for college. Sure, there remain questions about the value of a college degree, the weight of student loans, and whether this could actually affect structural inequality, but so long as we’re still working in the system, we’re better off with Upward Bound.

So OU’s decision to fund the program itself, announced by new president Duane Nellis, is genuinely cool. Here’s hoping that other schools whose applications for funding were denied will do the same.

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In a perfect world, I’d be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I’m just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I’d like to go back to academia.

Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I’ve used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I’d like to focus my work on what I’m really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it’s the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of High Faluter: I’m finding that academia doesn’t just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan

(Photo courtesy of Fusion of Horizons.)


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  • Michael Xie

    Nice piece. But the photo is of Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) and not Ohio University (Athens, OH).

    • Jerel Ezell

      Fixed.

    • P.S. Lancaster

      Thanks! Likely a rogue University of Michigan-affiliated admin at work.