TRIO Upward Bound is a federally funded program that aims to increase college enrollment and graduation rates for high school students from low-income households, from homes where neither parent has earned a 4-year Bachelor's degree, or for students at a high academic risk of failure. The program is funded by the United States Department of Education (Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965). Learn more about the federal TRIO programs.
Our Mission Statement
Our goal is to increase the rate at which traditionally underrepresented students enroll in and graduate from college. We provide academic support, emotional encouragement and assistance with the college application and financial aid process as a means of overcoming social barriers to higher education. We seek to broaden our students’ horizons by providing academic enrichment, college visits and cultural activities. It is our hope that the Upward Bound experience will contribute to our students successfully graduating from college and leading fulfilling lives.
- Academic support and mentoring throughout high school
- Cultural enrichment activities
- College prep workshops and activities
- College visits
- Test prep
- College application, financial aid application, and scholarship instruction
- SEPTA passes to and from program
- Free breakfast and lunch
- Rewards for honor roll and perfect attendance
- A supportive community of peers who also want to go to college
Academic Year Program: The academic year begins in October and ends in April.. Participants attend the program at the main campus of the Community College of Philadelphia, two Saturdays per month. Saturday sessions focus on college prep workshops, activities and events. Additionally, the program provides tutoring after school during the week. For seniors in the program, the emphasis is on applying to college and applying for financial aid. For juniors in the program, the emphasis is on preparing for the SAT. Participants receive a $40.00 per month stipend by meeting attendance criteria.
Summer Program: During the eight-week summer program (late June through early August), students will receive academic instruction in math, science, English, and a foreign language. Participants will also go on weekly cultural trips and college visits. In the final week of the program, Upward Bound participants will take a multi-day long trip to a destination outside of Philadelphia. A $60.00 per month stipend is provided for participation in the summer program.
Applying to TRIO Upward Bound
In order to apply, you must be entering 9th or 10th grade at either Benjamin Franklin High School, Building 21, Furness High School or South Philadelphia High School.
You must also fulfill at least one of the following requirements:
- Neither one of your parents/guardians have a 4-year bachelor's degree;
- You come from a household that qualifies as low income by the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines;
- or, you are at high academic risk of failure.
You must complete an application and an interview in order to qualify for the program. A complete application includes personal identification information, two teacher recommendations, a copy of your current high school report card, and income eligibility verification information.
Please note that you will be asked to provide your Social Security Number which will ONLY be used for yearly reporting purposes to the federal government and college applications during your senior year.
Click here to submit an application
Once you are admitted to the program, you are eligible to remain in Upward Bound for the duration of your high school career.
Our office is located on the College's main campus at 17th and Spring Garden on the third floor of the Winnet Student Life Building, Room S3-14. Our phone number is (215) 751-8840.