College Application and Exploration Season


Farrington High School Event, November 2013

College Application and Exploration Season (CAES) is an annual initiative coordinated by GEAR UP Hawai‘i to assist high school students with their exploration and applications for college. Starting in 2012, CAES is based on "College Application Week" program started by GEAR UP North Carolina in 2005 which has since expanded to 22 states. The goal of CAES is to encourage high school seniors, particularly prospective first-generation college students from low-income families, to apply to at least one college before they graduate from high school, giving every student the option to go to college. Local volunteers, college faculty and staff work with pilot high schools in the state to plan events that encouraged their seniors to complete a college application. 

In 2013-14, thirteen schools from Oahu and the Big Island took part in CAES, which more than doubled the number of participating schools from 2012: Castle High School, Farrington High School, Kahuku High School, Kailua High School, Ke Kula 'O 'Ehunuikaimalino, Konawaena High School, McKinley High School, Nānākuli Intermediate and High School, and Waianae High School.

Special packets were also sent to over 10,000 Step Up Scholars in the Classes of 2014 and 2015 to provide them with resources and information on preparing and applying for college and financial aid. To view a sample of of the materials included in the packet, click here


Student at Farrington High School fills out the UH System application at their CAES event.