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Gear Up 

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Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that was designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college. GEAR UP is a highly competitive grant program that helps empower local partnerships comprised of schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and community organizations.

Utah State University Science Technology Arithmetic Reading Students (USU STARS!) received its first GEAR UP seven-year grant in 2012, and has since been awarded three additional seven-year grants in 2015, 2017, and 2018. The program partners with schools in which at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch. The program is cohort-based which means that it works with entire grade levels, and whole schools, starting in 7th grade through the first year of post-secondary education.

USU STARS! GEAR UP provides services to support students, families, and schools, including:

  • Academic tutoring

  • Career exploration/advising

  • College campus visits

  • Summer programs

  • Comprehensive mentoring

  • Financial aid counseling/advising

  • Academic advising/planning

  • Educational field trips

  • College application/scholarship workshops

Students in participating schools receive these services to help them graduate from high school, as well as plan for and succeed in education or training after high school. Teachers receive professional development and resources to help students. Communities throughout Utah benefit from an educated workforce.

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