GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education whose mission is to significantly increase the number of low-income middle and high school students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
In 2011, the University of Hawai‘i received a seven-year matching grant to administer the GEAR UP program in Hawai‘i through 2018. The state GEAR UP program, under the organization Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, consists of a consortium of partners that include the State of Hawai'i Department of Education, the University of Hawai‘i's ten-campus system as well as the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Together with its partners, GEAR UP inspires hope and improves futures by increasing students' access to and success in higher education.
The program serves low-income middle and high school students in public schools throughout the state – those qualifying for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL) and all students attending middle or high schools with 50% of more students qualifying for FRPL.
Drawing on the successful results of the fist two grants received in 2000-2005 and 2005-2011, GEAR UP has designed strategies to broaden college awareness, expand academic readiness, and increase postsecondary success among eligible students.
Project services are designed to: