Tester Announces $6.7 Million to Help Montana’s First Generation College Students

(Lewistown, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured over $6.7 million to help Montana’s first generation college students earn their degrees.

“When we talk about being fiscally responsible and making good investments, Upward Bound is exactly what we’re talking about,” said Tester, a former teacher and School Board member. “These programs put taxpayer money to its best use, preparing the next generation to be productive, contributing members of the Montana community.”

The U.S. Department of Education just announced five years’ worth of funding for four Upward Bound programs across the state. Upward Bound is a program that provides low-income, first generation college students with the support, resources, and guidance they need to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and earn their degree. As the co-chair of the TRiO Caucus, Tester has played a pivotal role in making sure Upward Bound programs across the state have the resources they need to train Montana’s next generation of leaders.

The following Montana institutions were awarded five-year Upward Bound grants:

Salish Kootenai College, $1.86 million
The Upward Bound Program on the Flathead Indian Reservation helps 87 local high school students ascend to college each year and eventually earn their degrees.

Fort Belknap Indian Community, $1.67 million
The North Central Montana Upward Bound Program will continue helping 77 students from across Hill, Phillips and Blaine Counties complete high school each year and earn college degrees.

Montana Tech, $1.48 million
This Upward Bound program will help 69 low-income, first generation college students throughout Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Butte and Helena successfully complete high school and earn post-secondary degrees.

Montana State University – Billings, $1.69 million
Montana State University-Billings will use this funding to continue its highly successful Upward Bound Program, which serves 77 students each year from across Yellowstone and Big Horn Counties.

This week Tester also convinced the Department of Education to reconsider the University of Montana’s Upward Bound grant application, which was rejected earlier this year because of a minor formatting issue.