Paine College, with the assistance of a grant from the U. S. Department of Education, sponsors the Upward Bound Program. Since its inception in 1967, Upward Bound has functioned as a pre-college program offering instruction in basic skills; intensive tutoring services; comprehensive academic, personal, and career counseling; assistance with post-secondary school and career selection; introduction to the college curriculum; and cultural and other extra-curricular experiences.

Participants are residents of Richmond County and are enrolled in local public high schools. They are selected from among eligible economically disadvantaged and/or potential first-generation college students.

During the six-week summer session, Upward Bound students live on the College campus and are involved in an intensive academic study program (English, mathematics, science, reading and writing). The students begin the program with a battery of tests to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Some instruction is individualized. Individual and group counseling is also an important element of the program.

During the academic year, Upward Bound students receive academic instruction, tutoring, and counseling after school and on Saturdays. Counselors follow their progress in high school and the students learn about the college application process and how to apply for student financial assistance.