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. 

IIn 2014-15, nine schools held a CAES application event serving 1,356 students, including over 1,000 students from low-income schools. At five of the participating high schools, more than 90% of the senior class participated in a CAES event.

After graduation,1,230 CAES participants were linked to the National Student Clearinghouse data and their college enrollment was tracked at 89%. In addition, 59% percent of CAES participants enrolled in college the fall after graduating from high school compared to the statewide HIDOE average of 56%.


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