Upward Bound

If you're a high school student looking for support in preparing for college, the Upward Bound program might be your solution. Upward Bound (UB) is a free federally-funded college preparation program for low-income students and students whose parents do not hold bachelor's degrees. It is operated by the U.S. Department of Education. Our mission is to boost the number of students graduating high school and succeeding in college. You could be one of them!

Some notable alumni of Upward Bound include Oprah Winfrey, John Quiñones, Viola Davis and Patrick Ewing. Our Upward Bound students have attended colleges such as UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona.

There are currently more than 900 Upward Bound programs serving students throughout the United States.

We'll help you:

  • Pass your state assessment tests in reading, language arts and math
  • Stay in school until you graduate
  • Plan out your high school classes so that you are on track to satisfy the A-G admission requirements needed for the California State and University of California schools
  • Enroll in college the fall after you graduate high school


As an Upward Bound participant, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Receive one-on-one advising and support at least once a month in areas such as academics, college and career planning.
  • Receive weekly tutoring services from current Chaffey College students
  • Participate in monthly Saturday Academy sessions at Chaffey College to focus on core academic subjects and workshops on personal and career development
  • Earn up to 10 elective credits during our six-week summer academy program, which includes courses not offered in high school.
  • Go with us to museums, landmarks and amusement parks
  • Tour Cal State, University of California and private college campuses throughout Southern, Central and Northern California.
  • Receive detailed guidance and support during your 12th grade year on college applications, financial aid, scholarships and college housing.
  • Attend a senior bridge program to help you make the transition into college including workshops on time management, budgeting, how to seek college resources, nutrition and take part in an Upward Bound alumni panel.
  • Plus much more



The Upward Bound program is open to students who:

  • Want to go to college after high school
  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Are enrolled at A.B. Miller High School or Fontana High School in the Fontana Unified School District (eighth-grade students planning to attend either school may sign up the summer before they begin school)
  • Have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5
  • Demonstrate financial need, according to federal income guidelines or are considered first-generation college students (neither parent holds a bachelor's degree)


Please note that students in AVID and/or other Federal and State pre-college programs may be placed on a wait list to allow those not currently being served by a program the opportunity to receive college outreach services.



To join Upward Bound:

Apply Online Here

  • Please note that your completed application must be signed, contain verification of income (1040 Tax Forms, Proof of Income from governmental source or signed statement), and a personal statement in order to be processed.  
  • If eligible and there's space in the program, the student and their parent(s) need to attend an informational interview with the director and advisor. The student and at least one parent must attend. We offer in-person and virtual meetings to accommodate parents.  Students will be notified within a week following the interview of their acceptance into the program. Those selected will be given student intake forms to submit by the following week.
  • Once all the required documents are returned to our office, the student’s participation and performance will be monitored during a 60-day probationary period. If the student successfully completes the probationary period he or she will be awarded permanent admission into the program.


Frequently Asked Questions


All programs and services are free. The United States Department of Education provides funding. Participants must meet eligibility requirements before receiving services.

Participants are required to be active in our program and attend all advising sessions, tutoring twice a week, Saturday academies once a month, our summer academy and participate in cultural and educational field trips throughout the year. Once a student is admitted into the program, we expect our students to remain in the program until they graduate high school.

Absolutely! Being involved is an important part of your high school experience. Many of our current and former students have been in sports, associated student body, Key Club and some even held part-time jobs while being in Upward Bound. If you decide to join Upward Bound we ask that you make participation in the program an equal priority and learn how to manage and honor your time commitments.

As long as neither of your parents have received a bachelor’s degree at the time of admission you are eligible as a first-generation college bound student.

Your siblings’ college going or attainment does not affect your eligibility as a first generation college bound student. “First Generation” only refers to your parents’ college attainment. As long as neither of your parents have received a bachelor’s degree at the time of admission you are eligible as a first generation college bound student.

We do accept students who are in the process of becoming U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Please note that we will need official documentation proving that you are taking steps or in the process.

Yes, you may apply if you are in AVID. However, please note that your application may be placed on a waitlist to allow students who are not currently receiving any services to be served.



Fontana Campus
16855 Merrill Avenue
Fontana Center-101 
Phone: 909-652-7445
Fax: 909-652-7419


Elizabeth C. Almanza
Program Director
(909) 652-7423


Elizabeth Almanza grew up in the Inland Empire and participated in the Upward Bound program as a high school student. She faced many of the same issues that students in this community still face today and she attributes much of her success to the support and guidance she received as an Upward Bound participant. In fact, one of the main reasons she chose her college was based on a field trip she went to her freshman year in the Upward Bound program. Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences from the University of La Verne. After graduating, she moved to Arizona to pursue graduate studies. That's where she discovered her true calling for serving students who are from low-income homes, are the first in their families to go to college and have lots of "ganas" or a desire to succeed. Elizabeth graduated with a master's in higher education from the University of Arizona and has been working in college access programs in Arizona and California for over a decade. She is a proud mother of two children - a daughter, Siena, and a son, Solomon, and enjoys experiencing the world through their eyes. Fun Fact: Elizabeth’s favorite place is Puerto Vallarata, Mexico and has returned at least once a year since first visiting in 2013.


Janice Frith
Program Advisor
(909) 652-7446


Janice understands the needs of Upward Bound students because she has a similar background. Born in East Los Angeles, Janice grew up in a low-income family that moved around frequently during her childhood. Her parents pushed the importance of college, as neither of them got that far in their education and it affected the kinds of jobs they could get and their financial stability. Despite their encouragement, no one in her family knew how to navigate the college system. When she graduated from high school, she attended Norco College where she decided to study psychology. As a first-generation college student, she did not know what financial resources were available and worked as many as three jobs to afford full-time tuition. She finally learned about financial aid and received support after asking questions in her second year of college. The college hired her as a work-study student for Upward Bound. She learned about the guidance and resources available to students from her background. She decided then that she wanted to help students prepare for college as much as possible to avoid the hardships she experienced. She transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She later earned her Master of Arts Degree in Education: School Counseling. She has worked her way up in the Upward Bound program from student assistant to advisor and is proud of the work the program does. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with her husband, stepson and pug.



Follow the Chaffey College Upward Bound program on Instagram @upwardbound_chaffeycollege

Upward Bound is a federally-funded pre-college program under the United States Department of Education. All programs and services are offered to participants at no cost. Students must meet eligibility requirements to begin services.