Successful Strategies for Upward Bound Students

Preparation for college requires a strong work ethic, both inside and outside of the classroom. It is highly recommended that Upward Bound students follow the guidelines below during each stage of their high school career.

Strategies for Freshmen

  • Take challenging courses including 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 4 years of science, 3 years of social studies, 2 years of foreign language.
  • Become involved in community and school activities (sports, clubs, class boards). College admissions will look for these activities!
  • Register for AP or Honors courses.
  • Research college admissions requirements including GPA, ACT or SAT scores, community service.
  • Take part in the Explore and MAP Tests Listen for announcements at school.
  • Begin keeping a list of your activities, honors, awards and community service hours.
  • Start on the right foot academically; push yourself to make high grades right away.
  • Develop positive relationships with teachers, administrators, pastors, employers, etc. These adults will be helping you get into college!
  • Attend Upward Bound Summer Program to participate in a real-life college experience courses.
  • Develop a 4-year high school plan that lists courses you want to take, including college-prep
  • Confidence! Keep telling yourself and others around you that you WILL attend college!

Strategies for Sophomores

  • Take challenging courses including 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 4 years of science, 3 years of social studies, 2 years of foreign language
  • Stay involved in community and school activities (sports, clubs, class boards) College admissions will look for these activities!
  • Register for AP or Honors courses.
  • Research college admissions requirements including GPA, ACT or SAT scores, community service
  • Take part in the Plan and MAP Tests Listen for announcements at school!
  • Begin to keep a list of your activities, honors, awards, and community service hours.
  • Continue to reach high academically; push yourself to make high grades right away!
  • Develop positive relationships with teachers, administrators, pastors, employers, etc.These adults will be helping you get into college!
  • Attend Upward Bound Summer Program to participate in a real-life college experience.
  • Develop a 4-year high school plan that lists courses you want to take, including college-prep courses.
  • Confidence! Keep telling yourself and others around you that you WILL attend college!
  • Visit college campuses or college fairs to begin asking questions about college admission and start thinking about what you are looking for in a college (size, location, cost, etc.)

Strategies for Juniors

  • Take challenging courses including 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 4 years of science, 3 years of social studies, 2 years of foreign language.
  • Stay involved in community and school activities(sports, clubs, class boards). College admissions will look for these activities!
  • Attending college fairs and college-prep workshops (with Upward Bound's help!).
  • Take the PSAT to qualify for free $$ and the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • Take the ACT/MME provided by the school. Listen for announcements at your school to register on time!
  • Look for scholarships on Fastweb.com and Federal Student Aid to find scholarships you may want to apply for during your senior year.
  • Take AP and Honors courses.
  • Check out options to dual enroll in college courses.
  • Research opportunities for summer internships, work-study or job-shadow experiences.

Strategies for Seniors

In the fall semester:

  • Narrow down your list of colleges and visit them.
  • Re-take the ACT with the help of Upward Bound.
  • Fill out college applications and watch for deadlines.
  • Learn your class rank and cumulative GPA.
  • Narrow down your choice of college major and career pathway (based on your skills).
  • Apply for scholarships (see below for ideas) - (in Upward Bound senior class).
  • Ask for Upward Bound staff's help with writing college and scholarship essays.
  • Stay involved in community and school activities (sports, clubs, class boards, volunteering, etc.) College admissions will look for these activities!
  • Compile a formal list of all your high school activities (including years spent), honors (including years won) and any awards, internships and work experience you've earned.
  • Make a final decision about where you want to attend.
  • Attend College Survival Workshops (Upward Bound).

In the winter semester:

  • Finish sending all college applications/essays.
  • Complete the initial Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application before year's end (in Upward Bound senior class). Look for your parent's new tax info by January 1 to complete an updated FAFSA in February.
  • Format your final resume.
  • Continue to fill out scholarship applications.
  • Acquire recommendation letters from teachers, administrators, pastors, employers, etc.

In the spring semester:

  • Sort through mail from colleges/universities.
  • Compare financial aid award packages from different colleges to see your best option.
  • Ask for help with any college, financial aid or scholarship documents you are confused about.
  • Return any documents or deposits to the college you plan on attending, or call admissions to see if fees can be waived till financial aid comes through.