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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Upward Bound's target schools limited to six? Our high school is not listed, so may I still be considered?

The current contract with the United States Department of Education allows funding for the Program to serve six comprehensive public high schools in the state. The grant that was submitted for funding documented the high level of need for project services in those schools and communities. Five of these schools have been target schools for more than forty-one years, the entire time that Upward Bound has existed; the sixth school has been targeted for almost all those years.

The four communities and target high schools are:

in Central Falls - Central Falls High School
in East Providence - East Providence High School
in Pawtucket - Shea High School
in Providence - Central, Hope, and Mount Pleasant High Schools

Unfortunately, no other schools may be added and students who do not attend those schools may not be considered.

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How does a student apply for admission? Is there an application fee? Once a student begins the Program, does the student need to reapply each year?

Each fall, Upward Bound staff conduct informational sessions in each of the target high schools. Interested students and families may call the Upward Bound office to receive an application package. In addition, the guidance offices in each of the high schools will have a supply.

Since the Program recruits new students only once each year, it is important for students to submit all application materials according to the instructions provided. There is no application fee, and all students who apply will receive a written response as to the status of their application.

The Program's staff evaluates every student several times each year. The results of those assessments are communicated to the student and parents. All students who are meeting their individual goals are continued into the next phase of the Program and do not need to reapply.

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How many students are selected each year?

Usually, seventy students are invited to participate in the Program once the application process is completed. The Program does have a waiting list for two weeks after the selection process is completed.

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What kind of commitments must students – and families - make if they wish to apply to the Program?

The Program would like to develop a strong working partnership with each student and his/her family. Therefore, it is important that the family unit consider the following: purpose of the Program, services provided, time commitments for the school year and summer programs, and the importance of open communication. If the student – and family – wish to take advantage of all of the services and opportunities made available, they should apply. More details related to these expectations are included in a partnership agreement that clearly outlines commitments that the Program is going to make and those that should be reciprocated by the student and family.

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I understand that there are two components - school year and summer. Must a student participate in both parts?

Yes, the student should be available to attend Saturday classes, tutoring, and counseling sessions during the academic year. In addition, all students who have not yet graduated from high school should make a commitment to attend and complete the summer residential requirements. The dates for each component are communicated to selected students (and applicants) well in advance.

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Why must students live on campus during the summer? What are the dates for the summer program? Are students allowed to leave campus to work or visit their families during the week?

The Rhode Island College Upward Bound Program is required to offer a six-week academic/ residential experience each summer to students who have met program standards and who have not yet graduated from high school. There is no charge to the student or family for summer room and board. The Upward Bound budget supports the cost of each student’s private room, meals, instruction, tutoring, and activities sponsored by the program during the days the summer program is in session.

Students live and study on the campus of Rhode Island College, Sunday evening through Friday afternoon each week for six weeks. They cannot leave campus to work or visit their families during the week. If an off-campus activity is planned for the group of summer students, they are transported by buses and are well supervised by program staff.

A well-supervised, structured program affords students the opportunity to live and learn in a supportive campus community which simulates the college experience. By living on campus, students are able to focus on their academic and personal development. The Upward Bound experience sets high expectations for students and provides the services for students to reach their potential.

The dates for the summer academic/residential program are published in the recruitment materials, on the Upward Bound website, and communicated to students and families.

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What makes Upward Bound so unique?

No other program in the area provides such comprehensive services to enrolled high school students. Upward Bound recognizes that every student is unique and uses an individualized approach in working with them.

The commitment from the Program is a lengthy one – starting at the time the student enters the Program throughout high school, college, and beyond. The Program's counselors and faculty work with students in small groups and privately to address their individual needs. In addition, they help students to develop their academic potential, learn from others and their cultures, and identify and meet realistic goals. Tutoring is provided on a needed basis. Cultural and social events are held to expose the students to new and different positive experiences. The Alumni of the Program serve as role models by leading workshops, teaching, and conducting seminars. The Program also has a strong working relationship with many of the colleges and universities, a network that supports the success of our graduates.

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Do students receive high school or college credit for successfully completing Upward Bound? Does Upward Bound provide a transcript that lists academic information?

All target high schools provide some level of recognition on the high school transcripts for those students who successfully complete the summer experience. Usually, a notation is made on the transcript and one of the high schools issues elective credits, but college credit is not issued.

The Upward Bound Program develops an official transcript for each of the students. That transcript is forwarded to each college and scholarship agency to which the student applies. In addition, more comprehensive written evaluations are developed by the faculty and discussed with the student on a regular basis.

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Does the Program provide transportation?

The only time the Program provides transportation is when groups of students are scheduled for an activity that will take place during the summer or school year. Such examples are trips to a museum or college for an information tour. All other transportation to and from the campus are the responsibility of the family.

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Will Upward Bound pay for the student's college education?

No, but the Program will provide advice and guidance for the student – and the family – to apply for federal, state, and college aid. A financial aid advising program is scheduled each year, information about scholarship opportunities – including the Upward Bound Alumni Scholarship – is provided regularly, and waivers are provided as appropriate for related fees. In addition, the counselors work closely with the students and families throughout the college application and decision-making process as a means of facilitating the process and responding to questions about aid.

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Must Upward Bound students enroll at Rhode Island College after high school?

No, Upward Bound students do not need to matriculate at Rhode Island College. Upward Bound counselors work with participants and families to identify a range of colleges and universities that will offer the curriculum, support, and financial aid needed for a successful experience. Rhode Island College may be included in that list of prospective placements.

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Are Upward Bound students guaranteed admission to Rhode Island College?

If recommended by the staff of the Program, Upward Bound students are given special consideration when they apply for admission to the College but they are not guaranteed admission.

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Page last updated: March 21, 2017