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Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies?

Upward Bound accepts students who:

  • Attend one of the following high schools with which the Program works.
  • Are enrolled in their freshmen or sophomore year
  • Have a demonstrated academic need
  • Possess the ability and desire to pursue education after high school
  • Come from families where parents/guardians did not graduate from college.

How does a student apply?


How and when do participants get services?

  • Students attend meetings at their high schools for two hours each month. These meetings are focused on study-skill and academic-skill development and tutoring.
  • A program counselor visits each student at their high schools several times a year for individual consultations.
  • Students participate in all-day programs at University Park on six Saturdays during the academic year. Transportation and meals are provided.
  • A six-week residential program is held on the University Park campus. Participants experience life in a college residence hall, take academic courses, visit numerous college campuses, and participate in a variety of educational, recreational, and social activities.

What does Upward Bound expect of its participants?

  • Enroll in challenging college-prep courses in high school.
  • Maintain at least a “C” grade in all academic courses.
  • attend all Upward Bound meetings at their school and Attend the Upward Bound Saturday Programs at University Park. (Absences for school-related activities are excused).
  • Register for and take the PSAT and SAT before the program's deadline.
  • Apply to Penn State and other colleges before the program's deadline.
  • Submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) financial aid application to the Upward Bound counselor before the program's deadline.
  • Attend Upward Bound's six-week summer program.

What are the benefits of participating in Upward Bound?

  • Academic and career counseling
  • Advising related to course-scheduling
  • Information about careers and colleges
  • Help in defining personal and career goals
  • Tutoring
  • Study development/enrichment skills
  • SAT preparation and test-prep
  • Fee waivers for the, PSAT, SAT, ACT, and college applications
  • Cultural and recreational opportunities Opportunities to meet students from other high schools and backgrounds
  • Visits to college campuses
  • Stipends for those who meet program requirements and attend Saturday programs
  • Assistance with completing college applications
  • Financial aid information
  • Help for parents/guardians and students in completing financial aid applications
  • Assistance in identifying alternative scholarship sources
  • Summer opportunities for strengthening leadership and independent living skills
  • Summer classes, field trips, workshops, activities
  • Weekly stipend money for participating in summer session
  • Summer bridge program that enables a few qualified program graduates to earn 6 Penn States credits during the summer after they graduate