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Rising 9th graders, freshman, and sophomore high school students from Alexander, Jackson, Pulaski, and Williamson Counties in Southern Illinois are eligible to apply for admission to the Upward Bound Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Target schools are located in the following communities: Cairo (Cairo High School), Carbondale (Carbondale Community High School), Marion (Marion High School)Mounds (Meridian High School), Murphysboro (Murphysboro High School), Tamms (Egyptian High School), and Ullin (Century High School).

Students interested in participating should meet at least one of the following U.S. Department of Education requirements:
(1) be a potential first-generation college student (neither parent should have received a Bachelor’s degree); or
(2) meet the income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. Application does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students are selected on the basis of their high school grade point average(GPA), recommendations from teachers, and scores on standardized tests. Project Upward Bound does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnic origin, or religion.