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 tours and field trips
  • Family events
  • Summer programs
  • Counseling and advising
  • Comprehensive mentoring
  • College and career exploration
  • Financial literacy, financial aid, and scholarship information
  • College application support
  • Tutoring and homework assistance
  • 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

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

The Signpost - Gearing up toward success


“GEAR UP has helped me in so many ways. It's given me opportunities to visit colleges, keeps me on track for graduating high school and they've helped me learn about scholarships”
~ Joe T., GEAR UP Student, Roy High School

"I have found GEAR UP has been very helpful for me. It's helped me go on college tours, I've had help with scholarships... Also, I've had help paying for my ACT's and that's an important step for me to be able to go to college. GEAR UP works!"
~ Hayley V., GEAR UP Student, Layton 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 Student, Weber State University

"I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for [my daughter] and me. We couldn't have made it this far without you. And thank you so much for helping her get an added tuition waiver. You are an angel."
~ GEAR UP Parent, Davis School District

"[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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