Montana GEAR UP partners with up to 24 middle and receiving high schools in low income communities to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The program serves an entire grade of students beginning in the seventh grade and follows them through high school to graduation, adding a new class of seventh graders each year. Montana GEAR UP is funded by a six-year, $18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and is administered through the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education in Helena. MONTANA GEAR UP MISSION: Montana GEAR UP believes that postsecondary education is possible for all Montana students, regardless of economic background, and strives to empower them to realize that ambition. Montana GEAR UP brings this message to middle and high schools, students, their parents, and the community. MONTANA GEAR UP GOALS: To establish the importance of postsecondary education and provide early college and career awareness activities. To provide financial aid awareness, planning, and scholarships to GEAR UP students. To provide GEAR UP schools with the tools necessary to strengthen academic rigor and support in order to improve student opportunities and enrichment.