Official UMUB Calendar:

Email Management:

Thursday, December 15, 2016


January 4            SAEOPP scholarship applications due
ONLINE. Read qualifications and what is required closely (review email for details) 
(I will complete the application with a letter of recommendation, transcript, and ACT score verification) for the 2 students (1 from P-1 and  from P-2) with the highest scores (see grading scale online).
January 9            Linly Heflin applications due.
January 13          Deadline to register for February 11 test
January 14          Super Saturday
January 15          Dell scholarship applications due ONLINE.
January 16          AAEOPP applications (PreCollege or Survivor)
via EMAIL (use attachments of WORD or PDF versions) to

More scholarship deadlines for JANUARY can be found at 

Upcoming scholarships:
Regions Riding Forward (February)
College Counts (you can start this now).

Check Upward Bound out on Facebook at  We have Motivational MondaysTutorial TuesdaysWorkshop Wednesdays, and Trending Topic Thursdays.
·       Go to (the Upward Bound Academic Blog) to get weekly updates and handy dandy hints to help you do your best in school.
·       Updates and scholarship information are found on the UMUB SENIOR BLOG at

Monday, December 5, 2016


You're worn out, tired, and perhaps just a little sick this time of year. Stay with it!  There's just three weeks left of the semester and it is CRUCIAL that you stay strong through the end of the semester.  Your semester GPA will be what shows up on all the scholarships due next semester, so push through and make sure you do your best!  

SENIOR SUCCESS SEMINAR                    12/05/2016                
Guest Speaker:  Demetrius L Castleberry 

If you need a transcript of your grades sent to a school, EMAIL me the name of the school.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE APPLIED to the school before I send a transcript.

By DECEMBER, you should have narrowed your college choices to 2. 

Check your Google Drive and make sure you have the following documents:
  1. Updated Academic Résumé
  2. Transcript (PDF Spring 2016); I will update it with the Fall 2016 transcript when it comes available in January.
  3. Highest ACT Score (PDF)
  4. FAFSA SAR (PDF)  (Ask for assistance if you need to get this saved)
  5. PDF Scans of Letters of Admission
  6. PDF Scans of Scholarship offers
  7. PDF Scan of Taxes (if you are applying for Dell, Linly Heflin, or College Counts)

AAEOPP PreCollege and Survivor Scholarships —(MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIP)apply for 1—not both—these scholarships consider GPA, ACT, leadership, awards, academic rigor, and recommendations:  DUE TO ME JANUARY 16th
(Read specifics of requirements—including the new essay prompt—on each application).  (Check your November 30th email from me for the application)
·        3.0 GPA minimum
·        20 ACT (18 for Survivor)
o   Complete application (Please remove lines before typing it) and 1 page essay—300—450 words (I need to edit this by January 14th)
o   Make sure to detail ALL your Awards and Honors, Leadership, and Community Service
o   2 letters of recommendation (I will do 1;
o   Transcript
Attach WORD DOCUMENT of application with essay, Transcript, and a Scan of Letter of Recommendation in an email to ME; SUBJECT: YOUR NAME AAEOPP Scholarship before January 16th


DELL—(NEED-BASED Scholarship and ACADEMIC RIGOR) LENGTHY Application and 10 essays; EVERYTHING IS SUBMITTED ONLINE before January 15th.
Dell awards 300 scholarships annually and since 2004, have provided students with over $60 million in college scholarships and support services. The Dell Scholars Program places greater emphasis on a student’s determination to succeed than just academic record and test scores. The GPA requirement is GRIT, POTENTIAL, and AMBITION. Dell rewards low-income, highly motivated students who are better than their numbers indicate and demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles.
·       Grit by overcoming personal challenges in their lives related to their families, schools or communities
·       Potential by participating in college readiness programs and seeking out academic rigor
·       Ambition by dreaming of obtaining a college degree
·         Participating in a Michael & Susan Dell Foundation approved college readiness program (Upward Bound) in grades 11 and 12
·         Graduating from an accredited high school this academic year
·         Earning a minimum of a 2.4 GPA
·         Demonstrated need for financial assistance
·         Eligible to receive a federal Pell grant in first year of college
·         Planning to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution in the fall directly after your graduation from high school
Dell Scholars are students who demonstrate their desire and ability to overcome barriers and to achieve their goals. Your application will be evaluated on your:
·         Individual determination to succeed
·         Future goals and plans to achieve them
·         Ability to communicate the hardships you have overcome or currently face
·         Self-motivation in completing challenging coursework (especially Honors, AP, and dual enrollment courses)
·         Demonstrated need for financial assistance

Linly Heflin—(MERIT-BASED AND NEED-BASED Scholarship)
·         3.0 GPA/25 ACT minimum
·         Essay and picture must be MAILED with application and postmarked before January 9, 2017.

Over 100 Scholarships listed here:  JLV Counseling—follow the blog

Monday, November 28, 2016


The deadline for the Smith Scholarship and many university-based scholarships is DECEMBER 1st...that's this Thursday! You should already have your essays done, but I need to edit them before you copy/paste them to the Smith application (which is due complete with attachments by December 1st at 11:59 p.m.)  I will be available to edit, help you attach, etc. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but it's not an application that can be completed quickly.  I will assist students in the order of requests and essays completed. The more thorough the application (which you have to do and I can check) the better the chances are that you will be eligible for this scholarship.  It's NEED BASED, COMMUNITY SERVICE and LEADERSHIP BASED, as well as 3 formidable essays.  

For all Seniors--even if you are not submitting Smith--You should also log in to FAFSA and download a PDF of your SAR report tonight.  SAVE AS First Name Last Name SAR. Once you have done so, save it in your Google Drive.  You will have to submit a PDF of your SAR report with your application.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


It's time to submit that all important FAFSA to determine 1) if you qualify for free federal aid; 2) if you qualify for student/parent loans; 3) how much money you will need for your FRESHMAN year of college. Because FAFSA eligibility is done yearly, you need to update your parent's tax information yearly, too.  For some of you, deciding which parent claims you may be tricky (but it's usually the parent you live with the most).  Click on this link to find a document that may help you.  WHO IS MY PARENT ON FAFSA.   

Remember, FAFSA is FREE.  Don't go to a .com website where you have to pay to file your FAFSA.  The correct site is

We have a Senior FAFSA Day scheduled for Saturday, November 12 from 8:30 a.m.--12:30 p.m.  If you have not already scanned tax documents to your drive, you will need to bring them with you.

WRITE DOWN your FAFSA ID, as well as the PIN you create for yourself and a parent.  You will have to use them EVERY YEAR you file FAFSA.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

OCTOBER 2016 Grapevine

Here's the latest edition of the TRIO Upward Bound Grapevine.  Lots of dates and great information, so you are up-to-date.  Follow this link for a PDF version:  
The Grapevine October 2016

You can also view it in a super cool magazine format at this link: October Grapevine (Magazine format)

Happy reading!

Friday, October 14, 2016


By today, all TRIO UMUB students will have report cards/progress reports.  

Before you lose it., snap a photo and send it to Mrs. Buff at (205) 516-5007.  Good or bad, we need to know.  All students who submit their report cards by Tuesday at NOON will have their names in a drawing for some REALLY COOL tech accessories.

If you need tutoring--or just need to do homework--text Mrs. Buff (or see her in Comer 108 during Academic Session nights) and we will get you placed in Think Tank Tutoring.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Do you need to catch up (or get ahead) on Cultural Enrichments (you need 24 by April of your Senior Year).

This post will be published tomorrow as a Thoughtful Thursday:  We are adding an additional Cultural Enrichment event for Tuesday, October 11th, on a very timely subject.  We have watched the news about tragedies with racial unrest and police actions with sadness.  Come and be a part of the dialogue of what we can all do to safeguard our communities.  

The UM President’s Office will host “Better Together:  A Conversation on Race and Law Enforcement,” in LeBaron Recital Hall.  TRIO UMUB students will need to sign in with Mrs. Gilbert in the lobby at 6:15 p.m.  The event should conclude at approximately 8:00 p.m.  Parents can also attend this event.

The symposium will feature an impressive lineup of guest panelists.  These include Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego, Reverend Arthur Price, Jr. of the 16th Street Baptist Church, and Nichelle Nix, the director of Minority Affairs for Governor Robert Bentley’s office.

For more information, click on this link: BETTER TOGETHER

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


With thousands of public and private colleges and universities in the United States, there are quite a few options out there. Nearly every school will have something that may be attractive, but which one is right for you? Regardless of ranking—regardless of anything—that is the key question. Keep your preferences, personality and goals in mind when considering colleges. Here are some categories and criteria that may help.
Academic Choices. You may have some idea of a possible major and career path, so reviewing the choice of courses at an institution of higher learning will quickly clue you in on whether it's a good fit. One reason many students ultimately choose a college is its strength in a particular area of study: nursing or engineering, perhaps, or even an emerging field such as health-care economics or global environmental change. On the other hand, if you don't have a concentration in mind, you may want a school that offers the maximum options.
Athletics. There are Division I sports schools (football stadiums that hold 80,000+ fans) or smaller schools where you don't have to be a superstar to play on a collegiate team. There are other schools with no particular athletic focus. What do you want in terms of opportunities to participate?
Big Schools vs. Small Schools. Undergraduate populations can be small—under 2,500—or large—35,000 and even more. You may fear getting lost in the shuffle at a big school and assume you'll have closer relationships with classmates and professors at a small one—but that's not necessarily true.  At even the largest universities you may be able to find your own niche. Some big schools even have smaller class sizes and better student-to-teacher ratios than small schools. Likewise, some really small colleges have specialized programs of study that may best fulfill your desire to focus on a single discipline or field.
Diversity. Some schools have a multicultural student body, including students from across the country and around the world. Others have a plurality/majority of students from one ethnic, religious or racial background. The composition of the student enrollment will have a profound effect on your college experience, so give this category especially careful consideration.
Location, Location, Location. The location of a college will make a huge difference in your college experience. A diverse urban center can be a never-ending source of stimulation, while a rural locale may provide so few distractions that you may find it easier to focus on studies. Plus, if you love nature and outdoor recreation, you may want to be someplace outside a city. Maybe a suburb near a major city? Keep your weather/climate preferences in mind too. If you hate rainy or cold weather, there are certain parts of the country you may want to leave off your map entirely.
Living Situations. How comfortable are the residence halls? Are they modernized? Air-conditioned? Will you live on campus, close to classes, or off-campus? We recommend taking an online tour of residence halls at any school in which you have serious interest. Better yet, visit in person—and spend the night.
Class Size. This is the average number of students enrolled in each class. The lower the number, the more personalized attention your student will receive from the professor.
Reputation. OK, this brings us to a myth: The idea that a degree from a top-of-the-line college or university will give you more bang for your buck. In fact, many graduates of lesser-known schools achieve as much as students from the Ivy League. In truth, most graduates of high-profile schools succeed because of the character that got them admitted—and students of equal character can do just as well, regardless of their school's reputation. Still, it's smart to ask about a school's track record for retention, graduation and successful job and graduate school placement.  

For a reprint of this article, click on this link:  


Wednesday, September 28, 2016


How's your Senior Year going so far?  We have hired some AWESOME tutors this year to help you.  

Go to this link to see who they are.  TRIO TUTORS 2016.  

We will also have tutors out in Target Area schools and at the UM Library to help you. This semester is CRITICAL for you to have GREAT grades.  Your grades from Fall 2016 will be on transcripts we send to scholarship committees and to many of the colleges you are looking at for those all important Admission Letters.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

TRIO Upward Bound September Grapevine

Here are two ways for you to read the most recent edition of the TRIO Upward Bound Grapevine.  You can click on this link to view it in an online magazine form.  
September 2016 Grapevine ISSUU

You can use the link to view it as a PDF here using this link: September 2016 Grapevine PDF 

Take the time to read it.  LOTS of GOOD information!


Tomorrow starts another Academic Year for TRIO Upward Bound with the Returning Student Orientation.  Here is the link to the schedule for Academic Sessions:  UMUB Academic Component Schedule

The buses will run as usual.  Here is the link to the schedule: UMUB Bus Schedule

We will meet on Main Quad at 5:30.  This post also has links to all the calendars you will need to be organized for the year. 

This Saturday, September 24th, we will have a Senior Spectacular Super Saturday.  Bring your Senior Binders and any letters of acceptance/important papers so we can scan them.  Here is the link to the SSS schedule for the year: Super Saturday Schedule 

Mrs. Edwards is on maternity leave, but here is the link to the Cultural Enrichment Schedule:  Cultural Enrichment Schedule Fall 2016.   Here is the link to the Community Service Schedule:  Community Service Schedule Fall 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016


INTEGRITY...the ULTIMATE word to get in a letter of recommendation, but it's not something that can be said about everyone.

I posted this word picture on FB today, but I wanted to follow up on it for seniors.  There's a lot in the media about integrity (especially with political candidates), but it's important that you personally value INTEGRITY. It's what you have been taught at home and school.   It describes your level of honesty, commitment, and willingness to do what is right.

A simple definition of INTEGRITY is "always doing what is right even when no one is looking." It's HONOR, SINCERITY, and RESPECT in everything you do, say, write, or respond to.

Becoming a person of INTEGRITY builds over a lifetime, but as you become a person of high integrity you will gain a respect from your peers, teachers, and community.

Thursday, September 1, 2016



Use this link to view the application for the  SMITH FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP I've been telling you about. It's not due to December 1st, but the application is lengthy and only the VERY BEST applications will be forwarded to the Smith Trustees for consideration of a scholarship worth over $60,000.  

Set up your log in information (and write down the information so you can access it again).  GET BUSY!




·         Application for scholarships at student’s “preferred” universities and application to other scholarship providers must be completed before submitting your SSF scholarship application by December 1, 2016.

·         Submission of FASFA forms for 2017-18 before submitting your SSF scholarship application December 1, 2016.

To encourage students in applying for college scholarships at both their preferred institutions and with outside providers, new deadlines now exist.

We have found that many students who were eligible for college scholarships were unaware of the early deadlines for College Admission and Scholarship Applications.

FASFA applications are open October 1, 2016 for school year 2017-18 and now use 2015 Tax Information along with new IRS links to easily transfer tax required information directly into the FASFA Form.Early application to Federal and State programs can increase awarded aid by up to $2,000. Some funds are limited and awards are based upon application date as well as financial need.

See “Most Commonly Asked Questions” on the Smith Foundation website for additional information.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


As you start your journey and complete applications for college, you should have some options.   Having choices is good at this stage of the game.  Dream big, but then make decisions realistically, considering a series of facts based on your particular needs, interests, and finances.

Of course, many students want to go off and see the country by traveling out of state, but unless there are significant financial incentives, you may have additional difficulty paying for your education.  Having a checklist and making sound judgements will help you to make a wise selection.

Consider these factors:

  • What is the best learning environment for me?
    • Does the size of the college matter?
    • Does the location (urban, rural, in state, out of state) matter?
    • What type of college (public, private, gender specific, religious) fits my interests and financial situation?
  • Do I need one-to-one interaction with my professor, or am I disciplined/driven enough to work and learn on my own?
  • Can I handle a fast-paced learning environment?
  • Does the college or university offer my major?
  • Will I be able to travel to and from college without financially burdening my parents?
  • What is the college data regarding graduation? 
  • What is the graduation rate?
  • What is the graduate school admission rate?
  • Does the college have a career placement office?
  • Are there support systems in place to assist me in graduating from college, such as TRIO Student Support Services?
If you are eligible for merit-based scholarships (ACT and GPA), you will need to complete your admission to that particular college no later than November 15th (to meet the December 1st deadline).  Outside scholarships (such as Smith, Dell, and Linly Heflin) will also ask about where you have been accepted, so you should apply to several before these deadlines.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Academic and Super Saturday Calendars

University of Montevallo
TRIO Upward Bound Academic Component

Tuesday, September 20
     Returning Students ONLY
Monday, October 3
     New Student Orientation
     Returning Students Regular Academic Session
Tuesday, October 18
Tuesday, November 1
Tuesday, November 15
Monday, November 28
Monday, December 5
Tuesday, January 10
Monday, January 23
Tuesday, February 7
Monday, February 27
Monday, March 6
Tuesday, March 21
Monday, April 3
Tuesday, April 18
Monday, April 24

September 24         
EXPLORE / PLAN Testing (9th and 10th grades Make Up) TUTORING; Super Spectacular Senior Success Saturday;  Senior Scholarships & Senior Portfolio; Computer Access
October 8 
Last date for EXPLORE / PLAN Testing; ACT Prep; TUTORING;
Senior Admissions and Scholarships, Computer Access
October 22 ACT Prep; TUTORING; Senior Admissions and Scholarships,
Computer Access
November 5 ACT Prep; TUTORING; Senior Admissions and Scholarships;
Computer Access
November 12 ACT Prep; TUTORING; Senior Admissions and Scholarships;
Computer Access; SENIOR FAFSA DAY
December 3 ACT Prep; TUTORING; Senior Admissions and Scholarships;
Computer Access
December 10 Senior Admissions and Scholarships; TUTORING; Computer
January 14 Senior Admissions and Scholarships; Senior Portfolios; TUTORING; Computer Access
January 28 Senior Admissions and Scholarships; Senior Portfolios; TUTORING; Computer Access
February 4 Tutoring, Senior Admissions, Scholarships; FAFSA;
Computer Access; TUTORING; Senior Portfolio
February 18 ACT Prep; Senior Stuff, Bridge, Scholarships;
Computer Access; TUTORING
March 4 ACT Pre Test (Required for ALL 10th and 11th graders); Senior Stuff, Bridge, Scholarships; Computer Access; TUTORING before CAREER DAY
March 18 ACT Pre Test MAKE UP (Required for ALL 10th and 11th graders); Senior Stuff, Bridge, Scholarships; Computer Access;
TUTORING, ACT Pre Test; Scholarships; Computer Access
April 15 ACT Prep; Senior Admissions and Scholarships; Computer Access; TUTORING; Senior Portfolio
April 29 Senior Admissions and Scholarships; Computer Access; TUTORING