What is GEAR UP?

gear up students

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded program that provides college-positive programming for middle and high school students. GEAR UP's mission is to increase the number of students who are confidently prepared to pursue post-secondary education. The GEAR UP program, established in 1998, is active in most states across the US and is administered and funded by the US Department of Education.

Michigan GEAR UP is hosted at all of the public universities in the state and is part of the KCP Initiative. At Michigan Tech, we worked with eight local schools to provide tutoring, mentoring, campus tours, and parent workshops to the graduating class of 2026. We also offer several scholarships each summer to bring GEAR UP students to Michigan Tech's Summer Youth Programs. There are over 350 students in the Michigan Tech GEAR UP cohort.

Whether students are interested in university or community college, a trade certification or a PhD, GEAR UP strives to help them feel ready to pursue what matters to them. Now in Year Seven of GEAR UP, our students have graduated and gone on to higher education. We work with all students on Michigan Tech's campus who came through any of the 15 GEAR UP programs across the state.