Clarion University's Upward Bound program, which has existed since 1978, encourages the acquisition of academic skills and motivation needed for success in high school, college, and everyday life. The program, designed for selected high school students in grades 9-12, operates an academic year component and summer residential component for students from the following high schools in western Pennsylvania: A-C Valley, Farrell, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Sharon, and Union.
Services such as academic advising, career exploration, assistance with college and financial aid applications, visits to post-secondary education institutions, and cultural and social opportunities are provided year round. The six-week residential Summer Academy offers participants an opportunity to experience college life in safe environment while residing on campus in a university residence hall.
Students are selected based upon eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.