Montana GEAR UP provides quality tools and services for students on their journey to obtain postsecondary education.

GEAR UP is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The purpose of GEAR UP is to help students prepare for some form of postsecondary education after high school graduation. GEAR UP has three main objectives: 1) To prepare students academically to take college level classes without the need for remediation. 2) To increase high school graduation levels and college enrollment. 3) To increase parents’ and student’s knowledge of post-secondary options, including affordability.

GEAR UP exists in a school to create a college going culture. It helps teachers, students, and parents or caregivers nurture the desire to aim higher. It helps students of all abilities understand that their future financial wellbeing depends on graduating and pursuing further education that will help them have a career of their choosing. This means every student can be encouraged to develop their job skills whether it is through a trade school, certificate program, or getting a 2-year or 4-year degree.

Quick Facts

  • GEAR UP serves students in 7-12th grade at 15 schools to improve high school graduation and college enrollment rates.
  • The program partners with postsecondary institutions to support GEAR UP college freshman with their transition to and retention in college.
  • By the end of the grant, Montana GEAR UP will serve 8,800 students, including 5,800 American Indian students.


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