Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Upward Bound Program?

The Northern Illinois University (NIU) Upward Bound Program is a college preparatory program that provides academic counseling, skill development, general preparation and placement for students who plan to continue their education after high school.

What kind of services do you provide?

Upward Bound provides: tutoring, personal and academic counseling, college readiness workshops, career exploration, opportunities to visit colleges and cultural sites, test preparation, assistance with completing financial aid forms and college applications, and an intensive residential academic sum-mer component on the campus of Northern Illinois University (optional).

Do I have to go to NIU for college to participate?

No, the Upward Bound Program does not recruit for NIU. We encourage and assist students with their postsecondary goals, no matter what school they want to attend.

How much does the program cost?

The Upward Bound Program is a federally funded program, and all services are provided at no cost… which means the program is free!

Who can participate?

9th—12th grade students who attend Jefferson, Guilford, Auburn, or East High School in Rockford or students attending West or East High School in Aurora. The family must meet the income guidelines and parents can not have a bachelor's degree. 12th graders must have enrolled in the program prior to starting 12th grade.

Where can I get an application?

You can ask your school counselor, talk to a member of the Upward Bound staff at your high school or download and print the application online.

How do I begin participating?

You and your parent must complete and sign the application and provide all requested documentation. After we receive your application a member of the Upward Bound Program staff will contact you to set up an interview with you and your parent .

Contact Us

Office of Precollegiate Programs
Felicia R. Bohanon, Director
815-752-1868 (fax)