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The GEAR UP Alumni Associations provides scholarships to directly address the financial obstacles that low-income, first-generation students disproportionately face during their transition to college and throughout their time at a higher education institution. Typically we have two cycles of scholarship applications: one towards the end of Spring, and one in the Fall. All applicants must be alumni of a GEAR UP program in order to qualify for funding.

Graduating Students

Summer Melt Scholarship

Summer melt scholarship usage is meant to address monetary obstacles that may prevent GEAR UP alumni from being able to enroll in their intended college in the Fall. Proof of acceptance/enrollment at a higher education institution is required.

Deadline: April 7, 2024

Adult Students

Persistence Scholarship

Scholarship usage may vary from books, to tuition, to housing, to food, and more. Proof of enrollment at a higher education institution is required.

Deadline: TBA

Graduation Ceremony

From housing deposits to orientation fees to textbooks and other small charges alike, the most detrimental financial obstacles are rarely the big costs like tuition.




...of low income students who are admitted into schools in the spring do not attend in the Fall because they lack funds for things such as housing and orientation fees."

-Ben Castleman, 2014

College Students

Often financial aid is not disbursed before classes begin leaving low-income students without the means to purchase textbooks making it difficult to achieve the grades necessary to remain eligible for financial aid.

"Nearly 2/3

...of first generation college students did not buy their textbook for class and later felt it hurt their performance."

- Jenkins, JJ, et al. 2020.

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