U.S. Department of Education: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Partnership Grants)
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a discretionary grant program that provides funding for academic and related support services to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities and English learners, to help them obtain a secondary school diploma and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education. Services must include providing financial aid information, encouraging enrollment in challenging coursework in order to reduce the need for remediation at the postsecondary level, and implementing activities to improve the number of students who obtain a high school diploma and complete applications for and enroll in a program of postsecondary education. GEAR UP funds may also be used to provide a number of additional support services such as mentoring, tutoring, academic and career counseling, exposure to college campuses, and provision of scholarships.
The program has two competitive preference priorities. The competitive preference priorities are:
- Projects designed to reduce the need for remedial education for secondary school students, including students with disabilities, at the postsecondary level.
- Projects designed to implement at least one strategy supported by evidence of effectiveness that meets the conditions set out in the definition of “moderate evidence of effectiveness” in 34 CFR 77.1(c) and as defined in the solicitation (see the solicitation for more details). To address the priority, an applicant may submit up to two studies that it believes supports the implementation of an authorized activity proposed in the application that meets the moderate evidence of effectiveness standard.
Amount: A total of $24,500,000 is available to award up to 20 GEAR UP Partnership grants. Grants are expected to range from $100,000-$7,000,000 each and average at $1,200,000. The project period is for either 72 months or 84 months. A 50% cash or in-kind match is required.
Eligibility: Partnerships consisting of: (a) one or more local educational agencies (LEA), and (b) one or more degree granting institutions of higher education (IHE). Partnerships may also contain not less than two other community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional organizations, state agencies, institutions or agencies sponsoring programs authorized under the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program, or other public or private agencies or organizations.
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