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Free support for 30 college-bound Ferndale students available

Whatcom Community College (WCC) was awarded a 5-year Upward Bound grant last year to be used to help prepare for college local low-income high school students who are potentially the first in their family to attend college.

WCC was the only Upward Bound grant awardee in northwest Washington state.

As result, 60 high school students from Ferndale, Nooksack Valley and Mount Baker High Schools will be selected each year to participate in WCC’s Upward Bound program.

According to the WCC website, all of the services provided are free and a strong commitment from the student and their parents/guardians is expected.

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The program will provide Saturday workshops and tutoring, individualized student education plans, mentoring, and milestone checks. The program will also feature a six-week summer program for 9th to 11th graders on the WCC campus and a six-week summer bridge program with intensive advising and a tuition-free two-credit course for 12th graders. The program will help students select courses, improve financial literacy, assist in financial aid and college application processes and provide connections to dual enrollment options. It will also offer college tours, cultural events and career exploration. Students who participate in the program will be prepared to apply to any college following high school.

To be eligible to apply for the program, students need to be enrolled at one of the participating high schools, eligible for their school’s free or reduced-price lunch program, and/or a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree).

Open house information sessions will be available for 4 days this month for those interested in learning more about the program. These events will be held at the Ferndale Food Bank, 1671 Main Street, on May 12th, 14th, 16th and 19th from 9am to 11am.

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Anyone interested in more information on the Upward Bound program and how to apply is encouraged to call (360) 383-3134 or send an email to

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