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  • GEAR UP Iowa
  • 475 SW Fifth St.
    Suite D
  • Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 2008
  • Karmon Long
  • GEAR UP Iowa Program Coordinator
  • (515) 725-3418

Program Description

GEAR UP (which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a program made possible through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education aimed at preparing students and families academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college.Beginning in Fall 2014, this seven year project will support a cohort of about 6,300 students beginning in the 7th grade and will follow them as they progress through school. The program is a long-term partnership between Iowa College Aid, 12 partner school districts and nearly 40 partnering institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The students and their parents will receive a variety of services aimed at preparing them academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college. Upon enrollment in a college, GEAR UP Iowa students will receive a modest scholarship for up to four years.

GEAR UP Iowa is charged with significantly increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College transition and retention support
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Parent/family services
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 7500
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • Between 25% and 50%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • University of Iowa
  • University of South Florida: Tampa Campus