Answers to GEAR UP Iowa’s most frequently asked questions.


Get answers to GEAR UP Iowa’s most frequently asked questions.

  • Who is eligible for GEAR UP Iowa?

    GEAR UP Iowa began serving a cohort of 7th grade students in 12 partner school districts during the 2014-2015 academic year. Partner schools were selected for several reasons, but are required to have at least half of their students qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch. During the 2016-2017 school year, all students who were enrolled as a 9th grader at any of the 12 partner districts throughout the academic year were added to the cohort.

  • Who will receive the GEAR UP Iowa scholarship?

    All students identified as a GEAR UP Iowa participant are eligible to receive the GEAR UP Iowa scholarship. The student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen in order to receive the scholarship or any other federal financial aid.

  • How much is the GEAR UP Iowa scholarship?

    Each GEAR UP Iowa student will receive at least the minimum Pell grant amount, which is approximately $600 per year. The student can receive the scholarship for up to 4 years. In order to receive the scholarship, the student needs to take out their first disbursement of the scholarship prior to the age of 22.

  • What if a GEAR UP Iowa student changes schools?

    A GEAR UP Iowa student who switches schools is not likely to receive the same level of services if their new school is not a participating GEAR UP Iowa school district. However, they are still eligible for the GEAR UP Iowa scholarship.

  • My student started after 7th grade at a GEAR UP Iowa school, are they a GEAR UP Iowa student?

    Unfortunately, no. GEAR UP Iowa is a program that follows a group of students through school, beginning in 7th grade. Students who enroll after 7th grade in a partner school would not be considered GEAR UP Iowa and would not receive the scholarship. However, all students enrolled in partner schools may benefit indirectly through services and activities offered through GEAR UP Iowa at their school.

  • What if I don’t want my student to participate in GEAR UP Iowa?

    GEAR UP Iowa is a set of services and activities provided to a select group of students in partner schools to support their academic and career success. As a GEAR UP Iowa participant, your student has access to services and activities regardless of family background or income. We hope all students will benefit from these services, but if you feel your student is not in need of the scholarship after graduation, there will be an option to decline the scholarship.

  • What services are available to GEAR UP Iowa students?

    Services vary depending upon the school. These services may include tutoring, mentoring, college visits, college and career exploration, ACT/SAT preparation and scholarship and financial literacy education. These services will continue through high school and into their first year of postsecondary education.

  • How do I get more information about GEAR UP Iowa?

    Each school has a GEAR UP Iowa coordinator who can give you more information about specific services and events at your school. Contact your school’s office to find out who the coordinator is in your school.