Upward Bound College Prep

About Upward Bound

What is Upward Bound?

The Upward Bound (UB) Program is a federally-funded TRIO program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1965. Upward Bound prepares underserved and/or first-generation college-bound students in grades 9 through 12 for success in high school, enrollment in college, and ultimately college graduation.

All services are provided at no cost to participants.

Vision Statement

Students in the Upward Bound College Prep Program will participate in robust and rigorous learning experiences in and out  of the classroom that will increase their academic achievement, cultural awareness, and knowledge of higher education. Five years from now each student will be academically prepared, emotionally matured, and on track to complete an undergraduate program of study.

The Four Main Values of the Upward Bound College Prep Program are:

  • Responsibility – Each student is responsible for their performance and academics.
  • Scholarship – Academic performance, educational insight, and learning.
  • Perseverance – Working through complex issues that arise.
  • Uplift – Representing Upward Bound, Stamford High, family, and supporting those in need.

The Upward Bound Program provides:

  • A supportive learning environment that provides academic advising, instruction and tutoring.
  • Dedicated faculty and staff experienced and trained in all aspects of the program.
  • A challenging curriculum in a small setting designed to evaluate and strengthen student comprehension, study, and problem-solving skills.
  • An intensive six-week summer program with academic, cultural, and social activities.
  • Cultural enrichment trips- both locally and nationally to increase global awareness and acceptance.
  • Community service projects to increase citizenship skills and civic engagement.
  • Assistance in the college admissions process including campus tours, financial aid and scholarship research.

Types of Projects

Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages. As well as tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, education and counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of the students.

Additional Information

Year-round services provided by Upward Bound include:

  • A 6-week summer instructional component at University of Connecticut that is designed to simulate a college-going experience that includes daily coursework in math, english, and science as well as other related activities such as field trips and special events.
  • Individual assistance with college admissions and the financial aid application process during the school year
  • Field trips to college campuses, career exploration and cultural enrichment activities

Upward Bound participants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Indicate an interest in attending college
  • Would benefit from additional academic support
  • May qualify as Low Income and/or Potential First Generation College Graduate (neither parent has received a 4-year degree)
  • Commit to remain active in Upward Bound until high school graduation
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident

Activities & Services

Academic Year Program:

The ultimate outcome of the academic year program is for the student to achieve at a higher level, persist and as a result, apply to and enroll in a college of  their choice.

9th and 10th grade students participate in:

  • After-school meetings and tutoring sessions
  • Monthly Saturday programs
  • Approved community projects
  • Cultural and/or academic events
  • College-preparatory curriculum

11th grade students participate in:

  • After-school meetings and tutoring sessions
  • Saturday programs
  • Program approved community projects
  • An intensive program series focused on ACT/SAT prep
  • Cultural and/or academic events

12th grade students participate in:

  • After-school meetings and tutoring sessions
  • Saturday programs
  • Pre-college course offered by Upward Bound
  • A full college prep curriculum
  • Maintain records of college applications and list the procedures
  • Complete all necessary steps for college acceptance by January of senior year
  • Search for scholarship opportunities and apply for college acceptance by January of senior year
  • Graduate from high school
  • Enroll in a college or university of choice
Summer Program

The summer program runs for six weeks and spanning from July through August. Students must complete the eighth grade and participate in the academic year in order to be eligible. During the summer, students will take classes held at The University of Connecticut – Stamford Campus, an environment much like the one they will experience when in college.

Summer Academic Classes (July 8th - August 16th)

The summer academic classes are scheduled from 9:00am to 3:00pm with a 30-minute lunch break. Subjects taught are english, math, science, and foreign language. Courses will be taught to CAPT performance objectives and/or collegiate expectations by faculty.

Classes are held:
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 3:00pm
University Connecticut Stamford Campus

Activities / Field Trips

Students will experience many cultural activities. In the past field trips have included visits to the Mark Twain Museum in Connecticut and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

School Year Tutoring (October - June)

The academic year tutorials are designed to provide a stimulating learning experience that is more graduated than traditional high school courses. The smaller class setting will allow teachers to provide more intimate learning experiences.

Classes held:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
2:15pm - 4:15pm
Stamford High School - Room 624C
Saturday Component (October - June)

Saturday Program

We require students to attend approximately two Saturday programs a month. These Saturday sessions are designed to complement the learning experience by providing enriching experiences such as college tours, community service projects, and other workshops.

Programs are held:
Two Saturdays a month at various locations

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Upward Bound?

The Upward Bound program provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. Guided by the belief that education should be available to all persons with the potential to succeed at that level, the program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in high school academic performance and subsequent higher education pursuits. The goal of the program is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education, enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.

How much does it cost?

There is absolutely no cost to participate in the Upward Bound program. As a federally funded program, all costs are paid. However, the program does not cover personal purchases (i.e. souvenirs).

What is the application process?

All prospective students must complete an application for admission. A completed application, if entering in the 9th grade, includes the submission of the following documents: copy of 8th grade report card, copy of CMT scores, recommendation from middle school counselor and teacher, personal statement, signed copy of parent's most recent tax forms, and any supplemental documentation to support income statement.

In addition, applicants are interviewed by members of the Upward Bound staff.

How are students selected?

Applicants are selected based on a combination of factors: completed application, essay, recommendations, grades, need, and interview. However, all applicants must meet the income and/or first-generation status requirements to be considered for the program.

What if my child did not receive an acceptance letter?

Candidates who did not receive an acceptance letter may be placed on our waiting list and will be notified if any new spots become available. Some candidates will receive a rejection letter. These candidates can reapply the following year if they are in the 9th grade.

What the program's expectations for participants?

Participants are expected to commit to Upward Bound until they graduate from high school. In committing to the program, students should attend all mandatory sessions and turn in all required documents at the time they are due. Additionally, students are required to exhibit appropriate behavior at all UB sponsored events and respect UB staff, peers, and themselves at all times. Students and parents sign a contract pledging their agreement to uphold UB standards upon entering the program.

What services are provided to current participants?

Upward Bound offers an Academic Year component where students receive supplemental instruction in academic, cultural, and social areas, as well as a Summer component - an intensive six-week instructional program that prepares students for their next semester. All services are provided through a federally funded grant and are free to the participant.

Academic Year Component

Students receive numerous services that enhance their social and academic development, including:

  • Instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, foreign language and other subjects necessary for success in high school
  • Academic, financial, and personal counseling
  • Exposure to cultural events
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Assistance with postsecondary opportunities.
Summer Residential Component

The Summer Residential component is by invitation only. If chosen to participate, students receive the services offered during the Academic Year in addition to:

  • Career work-study and exploration
  • Academic preparation for the fall semester while studying at the UConn Stamford Campus

Does Upward Bound provide financial support for participants attending post-secondary education?

No. However, Upward Bound will provide resources and materials to help students/parents pay for their post-secondary education. For example, but not limited to, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What are the benefits associated with joining Upward Bound?

Some of the benefits associated with joining our program include:

  • Access to a personal Academic Advisor geared to help you succeed in high school and beyond
  • Exposure to a plethora of cultural and college activities
  • Participation in an intensive 6-week academic experience
  • Preparation for standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, ACT)
  • Assistance with the admission and financial aid processes

Do I have to reapply every year?

No. Once accepted into Upward Bound you are in the program until you graduate from high school.

Does my participation with Upward Bound guarantee my admission into UConn?

No. The Upward Bound program is a federally funded program and cannot guarantee admission to any post-secondary institution. If a student is interested in attending UConn, we can help facilitate the process. However, the student must meet the basic requirements of the university's admissions office

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StacyAnn Reid 
Director, Upward Bound
Saleh Jahangir
Upward Bound Project Advisor


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More Information

Who Is Served

Upward Bound College Prep Program will serve approximately sixty (60) students in Stamford High School.

Once accepted into the Upward Bound College Prep Program, students are expected to participate in the program until they graduate from high school.

Following graduation students are expected to enter into college.


Students are selected based on the following:

  • Indicate an interest in attending college.
  • Demonstrated academic potential.
  • Willing to commit to program requirements.
  • Parental support / involvement.


Participants are expected to commit to Upward Bound until they graduate from high school. In committing to the program, students should attend all mandatory sessions and turn in all required documents at the time they are due. Additionally, students are required to exhibit appropriate behavior at all UB sponsored events and respect UB staff, peers, and themselves at all times.

Eligibility & Applications

Students can apply after completing the eight grade, but before they complete eleventh grade. Potential participants range from 13 to 18 years of age. Students MUST also meet the criteria specified below:

  1. Be a potential first-generation college student (This means that a participant will be the first in her/his family to earn a four-year college degree.)

  2. Meet the income guidelines set by the federal government.
  3. For more information contact the Upward Bound Office by phone at (203) 977-4271 or email: click here.

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