Des Moines, IA., February 21, 2013 – GEAR UP Iowa, a program administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) and funded through a six-year federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant, announced today the dollar amount for the scholarship component of its college access and readiness program. Eligible GEAR UP Iowa students will receive up to $2,600 each year, for up to four years, to attend the colleges of their choice.
To be eligible for the GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship, a student must be part of the GEAR UP Iowa cohort and:
· Have a high school diploma, GED, or home school diploma;
· Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
· Be 22 years of age or younger;
· Be enrolled in at least 3 semester hours in an undergraduate program at an eligible college or university; and
· Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
GEAR UP Iowa’s mission is to significantly increase the number of cohort students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education following high school graduation. The GEAR UP Iowa program began serving a cohort of seventh grade students during the 2008-2009 academic year at partner schools in 18 Iowa communities with greater than 50 percent of their student population participating in the federal Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program. The approximately 7,000 GEAR UP Iowa students, now high school juniors, many of whom are from economically disadvantaged and/or academically at-risk backgrounds, are in more than 150 high schools across the state. GEAR UP Iowa has worked with partner schools over the past five years to help prepare students for success in postsecondary education. Now the students will have significant scholarships to help make the dream of education beyond high school a reality.