Upward Bound has two different components: the summer program and the academic year program. Students usually apply to the summer program during the second semester of the sophomore year and come to the Bowdoin College campus for a six week experience in the summers before both the junior and senior years of high school. During the academic year, Upward Bound counselors visit students in their schools every month to provide academic counseling, help arrange for tutors in their college prep (as needed), supply information about college and careers, etc. All students participate in Upward Bound year-round.
A small number of Upward Bound students are accepted into the Bridge Program for the summer following their graduation from high school. Bridge students earn college credit in Composition, learn critical research skills through an Art History course, and have a job while living in a residence hall on the Bowdoin campus with Bridge staff. The Bridge program takes place at the same time as the regular Upward Bound activities; Bridge students take part in many of the same activities, but do some more independent things as well.