What is GEAR UP?

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded college access & readiness program administered by Weber State University who partners with local junior highs and high schools to help students (1) successfully graduate from high school, (2) establish a college-going culture within their homes, (3) gain knowledge about postsecondary options, preparation, and financing, and (4) prepare to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

GEAR UP at Weber State University is a part of the larger Statewide GEAR UP Education Program, which operates in several regions throughout the state of Utah, and is part of the nationwide GEAR UP initiative.

GEAR UP Objectives

Our goal is to equip GEAR UP students and their families with the knowledge, skills, and the desire to aspire higher. GEAR UP’s four objectives are to:

  1. Increase academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education
  2. Increase the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary education
  3. Increase GU students and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing
  4. Increase students’ success in their first year of attendance at an institution of higher education

Services Provided

GEAR UP focuses on preparing students for postsecondary programs by providing:

  • College and career exploration and field trips
  • Parent & family workshops and events
  • Summer programs
  • Counseling and advising
  • Comprehensive mentoring
  • Financial literacy, financial aid, and scholarship information
  • College application support
  • Tutoring and homework assistance (where available)
  • Test preparation and study skills

Participating Schools


Interesting Facts

  • In 2016-17, GEAR UP seniors in Davis & Weber school districts received over $1 million in scholarships
  • More than 95% of students & parents who participated in WSU GEAR UP last year, said that tutoring in Math and English, academic & college advising, college tours, and workshops through GEAR UP were helpful/effective.
  • Utah’s Statewide GEAR UP program has helped thousands of students from low-income families in over 50 Utah junior high and high schools, succeed academically and go to college.
  • GEAR UP began in 1998 and last year alone, served over 640,000 students nationwide in 48 states
  • Students who enroll in GEAR UP are more than 30% more likely than non-GEAR UP students to enroll in higher education immediately after high school

GEAR UP in the News

July 1, 2019 - The Signpost - GEAR UP Helps Parents Support Teens

January 19, 2019 - Standard-Examiner - Weber State's GEAR UP family night makes college prep a family affair

January 16, 2019 - The Signpost - Gearing up toward success


“GEAR UP has given me so much confidence in how my life will turn out after high school. For a long time I didn’t know if I was actually going to be able to go to college. I had no idea how to get there. GEAR UP has shown me that I can get there and I do not need to worry if I do not know how because I know I can always go to GEAR UP.”
~ Jaycee G., GEAR UP Student, Bonneville High School

"GEAR UP for me is a program that helps students a lot with homework. When I came to this school I didn’t have anybody to help or teach me how to do my homework. But then someone told me about GEAR UP and now they help me get better grades."
~ Fernando M., GEAR UP Student, South Ogden Junior High School

"GEAR UP has helped me in many ways. GEAR UP taught me about the different opportunities available to me and they have helped me stay on track for graduation. They inspired me to make goals and accomplish them. They taught me to be confident and pursue my dreams; that no matter where I come from, I can still be someone great in life. The program has also helped me with choosing the right college for me plus they have motivated me to keep going and not give up."

~ Evelyn M., GEAR UP Student, Northridge High School

"GEAR UP is such a great program that helped me realize what college was right for me. The staff helped me gain confidence in learning skills to be successful in college."
~ Juliana A., GEAR UP Alumni, Weber State University Student

"I have had such a wonderful opportunity to experience all the amazing things GEAR UP has to offer to all the junior high and high school students. I am grateful to have been able to be a part of all the activities as a volunteer and to have been a part of the education of these students. My favorite activity was the Family Night. I loved that it was in Spanish and English. I feel like it gave all of us as parents the tools necessary to help our kids succeed. Thank you GEAR UP!"
~ Cindy Q., GEAR UP Parent, Syracuse High School

"[GEAR UP] is so good to help these students get their affairs in order, to be ready to go to college. I really do admire...all the good that you do!”
~ High School Staff, Weber School District

“To me, GEAR UP and everything that you guys do is so important because you’re preparing tomorrow’s leaders. You’re preparing tomorrow’s writers. You’re preparing tomorrow’s executives, lawyers, and doctors.”
~ Nick Cannon; Film, television, and radio personality

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