Upward Bound

Upward Bound banner imageUpward Bound is a national college-readiness program focused on preparing first-generation college students for higher education by promoting academic achievement, goal setting, and career exploration.

Seattle's Upward Bound program is open to rising 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students at Garfield and Rainier Beach High Schools, to help provide the knowledge, skills, and motivation needed to earn a two- or four-year college degree after high school.

Upward Bound 2019 grad

Each year, more than 100 students from Garfield and Rainier Beach High Schools participate in Upward Bound. Students are ethnically diverse from income-eligible families and represent the first in their families to pursue a four-year degree. Upward Bound accepts enrollment applications from rising 9th grade to 11th grade students. Once enrolled, students receive college preparation support through their high school graduation. After graduation, students also have an option to take one free college class at Seattle University during the summer as a credit-bearing transition class, with support from Upward Bound. 

During the School Year

Students at Garfield and Rainier Beach High Schools have access to an onsite Upward Bound Academic Youth Counselor four days per week, as well as the following services and supports:

  • Tutoring and mentoring 
  • Onsite academic guidance and personal counseling to ensure each student is prepared
  • Academic monitoring   
  • SAT/ACT test taking preparation and waivers   
  • Assistance with college and financial aid applications 
  • Program incentives to earn good grades   
  • Workshops for planning personal visits to college campuses 
  • Career assessments, planning and exploration   
  • Access to additional opportunities and resources, such as summer job training, internships, or paid jobs 
  • Educational and cultural activities   
  • Leadership development

Summer Academy

Each year the City of Seattle Upward Bound program offers a free six-week Summer Academy held on campus at Seattle University.  Upward Bound students have a college campus experience and access to services at the Upward Bound downtown office while classes are in session.


Upward Bound services are FREE to all applicants who meet eligibility requirements and who are willing to participate in required program services. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

2019 Upward Bound graduate with family

  • Attend Rainier Beach or Garfield High School and be a rising 9th, 10th or 11th grade student. 
  • Be a United States citizen or have permanent resident status.
  • Come from lower-income households according to U.S. Department of Education guidelines.   
  • Be the first generation in their family to pursue a college degree. 
  • Have desire and show potential for doing college work with academic and personal support.

Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

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