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2017-08-11 / Features

Mesabi Range College receives TRIO Upward Bound grant

VIRGINIA – Mesabi Range College has received its third Upward Bound grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant totals nearly $1.3 million distributed over five years, and will provide college preparation services for area high school students in grades 9 – 12.

This latest grant will serve the following seven area high schools: Cherry, East Range Academy of Science and Technology (Eveleth), Eveleth-Gilbert, Mesabi East (Aurora), Mt. Iron-Buhl, Northeast Range (Babbitt) and Virginia.

Upward Bound Director Zeb Norenberg said, “Since 2003 Upward Bound, located at Mesabi Range College, has served 50 local area high school students each year. With another five years funded, this will ensure students on the east end of the Iron Range will be given the opportunity to train for success in high school, college and their future careers.”

Upward Bound is a federally-funded college preparatory program overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. After approval by Congress, the Higher Education Act of 1965 established Upward Bound as a means to fight the cycle of poverty. The goal of this program remains to provide low-income, future first generation college graduates with the skills, knowledge, and support necessary to enroll in and graduate from college.

Along with academic support, Upward Bound provides social, cultural and community service opportunities that expand each student’s awareness of the community around them. Through the program, students also receive many opportunities to visit college campuses, both in Minnesota and across the country.

The Upward Bound program at Mesabi Range College has a strong reputation for producing college-bound high school graduates. Over the last three years, 97 percent of its students graduated from high school, 85 percent enrolled in college the fall following high school graduation, and 73 percent graduated with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within six years of high school graduation. This is in comparison to the state’s achievement levels of 82 percent, 72 percent, and 60 percent respectively (Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 2015).

“In such an economically turbulent area as the Iron Range, our program looks forward to providing students with the tools necessary for a more stable personal future,” Norenberg said.

For more information regarding the Upward Bound program at Mesabi Range College, contact Zeb Norenberg at or 218- 749-7763.

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