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What is GEAR UP?

What is GEAR UP?

West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded program that helps students in ten counties prepare to succed in education and training beyond high school. "GEAR UP" stands for "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs," and the program's goal is to help more students pursue their dreams of earning a college diploma or skillset certificate.



What does GEAR UP do?

GEAR UP provides many free activities and services to help students and their families plan, apply, and pay for education and training beyond high school. Examples include:

  • college campus visits and tours
  • tutoring
  • credit recovery classes
  • ACT/SAT test preparation
  • academic day camps and workshops
  • financial aid workshops
  • college prep summer academies
  • college exploration and preparation workshops
  • career academies
  • leadership academies

Additionally, GEAR UP is a key partner in offering statewide activities and resources, including:

  • College Application and Exploration Week
  • College Goal Sunday
  • the Higher Education Readiness Officers (HEROs) student leadership program
  • the statewide College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) college-planning campaign
  • the statewide Student Success Summit



Who can participate?

GEAR UP offers extra support to two groups of students and their families:

  • Students in the class of 2020 can participate in GEAR UP from their 7th grade year all the way through their high school graduation.
  • All 12th grade students graduating between 2015 and 2021 can participate in GEAR UP during their senior year.

At times, GEAR UP may offer activities and services to other students, depending on federal funding regulations and funding availability.

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