College Access Programs

There are many college access programs through out the City of Philadelphia that provide an array services to students that need assistance with things such as searching for colleges, assistance with the financial aid process, SAT preparation and even additional rigorous coursework that will prepare students for college. Some of the programs are listed below.

Click on the link to access more information about the programs.

GEAR UP – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The CRCC GEAR UP grant is currently servicing 9th and 10th grade students at 12 Neighborhood High Schools.

Let’s Get Ready – Let’s Get Ready provides low-income high school students with free SAT preparation, admissions counseling and other support services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. Services are provided by volunteer college students who also serve as role models and mentors.

Philadelphia Futures – Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit organization that provides Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. Philadelphia Futures also provides high schools with the Step Up To College Guide which is the premier college guidance resource for high school students and their families.

Philadelphia Education Fund (PEF) – The College Access Program at PEF can help you get READY, get SET and GO to college! They provide services to students at the following high schools: Kensington Creating & Performing Arts HS, Furness HS, John Bartram HS, Roxborough HS and Olney Charter School.

Steppingstones Scholars – Steppingstone Scholars, works with families and school partners, to provide rigorous educational programming and support for talented underserved students in the Philadelphia Region to achieve academic success, opportunity, and a college degree. Their services are currently being provided at the following schools: McMichael Promise Academy, Dunbar Promise Academy and Tanner Duckrey School.

TRIO Upward Bound Program – The goal of TRIO Upward Bound is to increase college enrollment and graduation rates for students from low-income households or from homes where neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree. The program provides academic support, emotional encouragement and assistance with the college application and financial aid process as a means of overcoming social barriers to higher education. In order to apply, you must be entering 9th or 10th grade at one of the following high schools: Benjamin Franklin and South Philadelphia. You must either be the first person in your family to go to college and/or must qualify as low income by the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines.

Upward Bound at the University of Pennsylvania – The University of Pennsylvania High School Upward Bound Program is a college preparatory program designed to motivate and prepare students in the program for the successful pursuit of a four-year college education. The goal of the program is to increase the rate at which low-income, first-generation-to-college students enroll in and graduate from a college or university with a bachelor’s degree. In order to apply for this program you must be entering the 9th or 10th grade at one of the following schools: Overbrook HS, Parkway-West HS, Sayre HS and West Philadelphia HS.

Upward Bound at Temple University – The Temple University Upward Bound Program will prepare Philadelphia Public and Charter High School students for admission to institutions for higher learning and success in the collegiate environment through intense academic enrichment, a summer college immersion experience, enhanced cognitive and critical thinking, and extensive interpersonal development through positive social interactions. Applicants must be current 8th, 9th or 10th grade students attending a Philadelphia public or charter high school.

Upward Bound at Harcum College – The Harcum College Upward Bound Program is designed to help program participants overcome the educational, cultural and social barriers of society, and works to build and enhance the skills and motivation needed to enter and complete post-secondary education. In order to apply for this program you must be a student at one of the following schools: John Bartram HS, Motivation HS and Communications and Technology HS.

Community College of Philadelphia Early Scholars Program – If you are entering 11th or 12th grade, you may be eligible to take college courses at Community College of Philadelphia and earn up to 18 credits a year on scholarship. You will not pay for tuition, books or fees, and you can choose from a variety of courses.