GEAR UP Idaho: Fact Sheet

GEAR UP: The Program

The GEAR UP program is a federal discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP grant recipients employ partnerships in local communities that commit to serving and accelerating the academic achievement of students. GEAR UP partnerships supplement existing reform efforts and grant funds, offer services that promote academic preparation and the understanding of necessary costs to attend college, provide professional development, and continuously build capacity so that projects are sustainable beyond the term of the grant.

GEAR UP: The Beneficiaries

The GEAR UP program provides services to selected public schools in Idaho with a student population where 50% or more qualify for free or reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Act. The cohort model of GEAR UP serves students beginning in seventh grade and follows them through high school. The majority of GEAR UP students come from rural communities in Idaho. GEAR UP schools were selected based on eligibility, a completed application process, level of need, willingness to participate in the program, and consideration of equal demographic and geographic distribution.

GEAR UP: The Goal

The goal of GEAR UP Idaho is to provide comprehensive early intervention, and college access programs to selected Idaho students and their parents that will help them learn about, prepare for, and succeed in college.

GEAR UP: The Mission

The mission of GEAR UP Idaho is to inspire students to become active in their educational experience, to ensure they are academically prepared for advancement to postsecondary education; and to increase the economic development and quality of life of Idaho residents by offering avenues to postsecondary education.

GEAR UP Provides to Participating Schools and Students:
  • Regional coordinators and site coordinators to implement program activities and services within the schools;
  • Funds available to reimburse schools for costs associated with approved school-specific training and programs, college visits, and activities;
  • Considerations for 4-year renewable scholarships of $4,000/year based upon financial need , completion of rigorous coursework, and full participation in the GEAR UP program; and
  • Funding for GEAR UP students to prepare for and take the ACT.

By offering a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of participating schools, students and parents, GEAR UP Idaho will:

  • Increase the academic performance of students;
  • Increase postsecondary preparation;
  • Increase graduation rates and postsecondary attendance rates in Idaho;
  • Increase ability to plan for the future, set and accomplish goals;
  • Increase the knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing; and
  • Increase family involvement in school.