Upward Bound

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What is Upward Bound?

The Upward Bound program is a pre-college enrichment program designed to assist low-income and/or potential first-generation college students in furthering their education beyond high school.  The program provides a number of academic services to help generate the skills and motivation necessary to be successful in high school and ultimately enroll in college.

When students are accepted into the program they become members of a  national TRIO organization until completion of a post-secondary degree.  They are encouraged to show their membership in the TRIO Upward Bound program on college applications, resumes, and job applications. Upward Bound is a federally funded National TRIO Program that has proudly assisted thousands of students in fulfilling their educational goals since 1965.

Our Impact

Each year, through academic and social experiences, 74 underrepresented students are prepared to attend college.   For graduating and current students of GECAC Upward Bound, it is only onward and upward from here!

How Does the Program Work?

Upward Bound consists of two components:

During the Academic Year

  • Attend weekly meetings with your Upward Bound Academic Specialist in your school.
  • Attend two Saturday sessions a month (November-May) at Pennsylvania Western University, Edinboro Campus (PennWest Edinboro).  Free bus service is provided.
  • Attend subject enrichment classes in math, science, English, and foreign languages as well as awareness workshops and homework tutoring sessions while at PennWest Edinboro.
  • Enjoy a free lunch at the Van Houten Dining Hall on campus.

During the Summer Academy

  • Experience living on campus at PenthreeWest Edinoro for six weeks. You will arrive on Sundays and return home on Thursdays. Free bus service is provided.
  • Take subject-specific math and science classes that will match what you will be taking in the fall at your school.
  • Enjoy entertaining activities in the evenings such as sports, crafts, games, movies, and video game nights.
  • Enjoy field trips to other college campuses as well as cultural sites with free meals included.
  • Enjoy a three-day trip at the end of the Summer Academy. All expenses are covered.

Working collaboratively with two school districts in Erie County, our program offers services at the students' home schools and at PennWest Edinboro during the academic year and during a six-week summer session.

Participating Schools

  • Erie High School
  • Perseus House Charter School of Excellence

Partnering University

  • Pennsylvania Western University, Edinboro Campus (PennWest Edinboro)

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There are three primary criteria for Upward Bound eligibility:

  1. Grades 9-12
  2. Attend one of the participating schools
  3. Parents did not graduate college and/or family income is within 150% of federal poverty guidelines

Become an Upward Bound Student

Upward Bound Application


Share Your Story
Inspire others with your experiences. Please submit your story so we can showcase your success.
Upward Bound Alumni
Add your name to our Upward Bound Alumni Network.

Request More Info

Frank DelleCurti
Program Director
(814) 459-4581 Ext. 676