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Frequently Asked Questions

UBP Coding Camp group of students


Who qualifies?

Through an application process, Upward Bound Programs staff will consider students who:

  • Attend school in one of the following districts with which the Program works:
    • Altoona
    • Clairton
    • Hazleton
    • McKeesport
    • Mifflin County
    • Mount Union
    • Newport
    • Reading
    • Steelton-Highspire
  • Are currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade
  • 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 biweekly meetings at their high schools. These meetings focus on tutoring and study- and academic-skill development.
  • Program advisors visit each student at his/her high schools regularly for individual consultations.
  • Students participate in all-day programming at University Park and other Penn State Commonwealth campuses on up to six Saturdays during the academic year. Transportation, meals, and and a stipend 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 Programs expect of its participants?

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


What are the benefits of participating in Upward Bound Programs?

  • Academic and career counseling
  • Advising related to course scheduling
  • Information about careers and colleges
  • Help in defining personal and career goals
  • Tutoring
  • Study skill development
  • PSAT, SAT, and ACT test preparation
  • 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 at various events for those who meet program requirements
  • Assistance with completing college applications
  • 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