Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a year-round program for high school students who have the desire, motivation, and potential to graduate from high school and pursue a college degree.

The MCC Upward Bound program at Harvard High School assists students, grades 9 through 12, in completing high school and pursuing a college degree. The program provides an array of support services and resources, so students may be prepared and successfully access postsecondary opportunities. Program services are free for Upward Bound students and are offered during and after school.

Five Reasons to Join Upward Bound

  1. It’s empowering: You do have the ability to finish high school, go to college and start a fulfilling career. Upward Bound helps you find the resources you need.
  2. It’s a way to develop valuable skills: You'll learn how to study, how to reach goals, and more.
  3. It’s a source of support: Your peers and the staff become a community of people who want you to be your best.
  4. It’s fun: You’ll make friends and go on trips.
  5. It’s free: Upward Bound pays for all costs associated with being a participant.
  • How does Upward Bound help me get on the path to college?

    We know many students have to overcome significant roadblocks to complete high school and get to college, and we’re here to help.

    Here are some of the free services you may use or participate in:

    • Tutoring and study-skills help consisting of:
      • After-school tutoring
      • Saturday Academy – supplemental academic instruction and tutoring
      • Summer Program (six weeks) – rigorous academic instruction, tutoring, and SAT preparation
    • Weekly academic advising at Harvard High School
    • Career development
    • Financial aid assistance
    • Enrichment activities including college visits and educational/cultural trips
  • What does it cost to join?

    Nothing—Upward Bound is free! Upward Bound even pays for costs like meals and admission fees when you’re on a trip.

  • What activities are required for Upward Bound participants?

    All participants do the following:

    • Attend "destined-for college" meetings held once a month during the school year in-person at Harvard High School or virtually after school at 3 p.m.
    • Attend tutoring sessions online through The Princeton Review
    • Meet regularly with your high school’s site coordinator
    • Attend after-school meetings at your school
    • Attend Summer Program
  • How do I know if I'm eligible to join Upward Bound?

    To be eligible to participate in the program, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident of the United States
    • Must be a low-income individual and/or a potential first-generation college student
    • Must be enrolled at Harvard High School
  • How do I apply to join Upward Bound?
    1. Complete the student portion of this application packet
    2. Have a parent or guardian complete the financial sections of the application packet
    3. Ask a teacher and a counselor to fill out the recommendation forms included in the packet
    4. Email upwardbound@mchenry.edu or call (815) 321-1251 to schedule an application review.

Funding made possible by the U.S. Department of Education. The McHenry County College Upward Bound program is 100% federally funded.

Upward Bound is part of TRIO, a set of eight federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in pursuit of a college degree.