Get Updates: Facebook Twitter


GEAR UP students tell why they love the program.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded project of MassEdCO and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. This national initiative encourages young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard and take the right courses to go to college. GEAR UP Massachusetts operates in targeted middle and high schools in Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester.

Since it began in September 1999, GEAR UP has served cohorts of students in grades 7 and 8 and grades 9 through 12 as well as their parents, teachers and guidance counselors. The program fosters school-wide changes that promote and increase college awareness and readiness.

GEAR UP services include:

  • Early college and career awareness workshops
  • MathPlus Accuplacer preparation
  • Early college-planning parent workshops (college admissions, financial aid and career planning information)
  • Career exploration activities such as career interest inventories, computer-based career research lessons, career speakers and fairs, and site visits
  • Field trips to college campuses
  • Academic and recreational enrichment summer programs including the Annual GEAR UP Summer Leadership Institute, hands-on summer transition programs, and project-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities
  • Assistance with completing postsecondary financial aid forms including the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and institutional financial aid forms
  • Assistance with interpreting financial aid awards and working with families to determine the best financial fit, as well as helping students find additional scholarship opportunities


Youth Services Available to Students Enrolled Here