The Iowa College Student Aid Commission has been awarded a second federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Grant totaling $22 million, beginning in fall 2014. This seven year project will support a cohort of about 6,300 students beginning in the 7th grade and will follow them as they progress through school. The program is a long-term partnership between Iowa College Aid, 12 partner school districts and nearly 40 partnering institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.
The students and their parents will receive a variety of services aimed at preparing them academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college. Upon enrollment in a college, GEAR UP Iowa students will receive a modest scholarship for up to four years.
GEAR UP Iowa is charged with significantly increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission administers GEAR UP Iowa in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and other state agencies; local school districts; postsecondary educational institutions; and community organizations, businesses, and industries.
The total of this seven-year Federal award of $22,379,301 will include $3,206,922 for the first year and represents 50% of the total project budget. The other 50% of program costs will be covered in the form of non-federal matching dollars from 36 partners across the state, totaling $22,670,801.