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.