ARIZONA GEAR UP
Strengthening the Education Pipeline
Every child deserves access to a quality education and the opportunity to earn a college degree. Arizona’s economic prosperity depends on increasing the number of residents who have a degree or a workforce credential. Since 2000, Arizona GEAR UP has strengthened the pipeline leading to educational attainment on behalf of the State in two ways:
- One, by increasing high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment for thousands of students from diverse communities across Arizona: GEAR UP provides college awareness and readiness services to all students in an entire cohort (graduating class) beginning in 7th grade, and continuing through high school and into the first year of college. Cultivating the motivation, knowledge and skills needed for entire cohorts to succeed along the pathway to college creates a sustainable, high-expectations culture in partner schools that benefit subsequent cohorts of students.
- And two, by leveraging resources to support Arizona’s education priorities and expanding capacity to make local and state initiatives possible: GEAR UP advances broader and shared aims with a variety of partners committed to improving Arizona’s educational outcomes – ensuring that the State’s strategies to achieve its educational attainment goal extend beyond GEAR UP communities alone. These partnerships and collaborations leverage resources, build capacity, support priorities, and make a variety of local and state initiatives possible from which both current and future students benefit.
Arizona GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a project of Northern Arizona University, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and dollar-for-dollar match in non-federal resources from partner organizations.
GEAR UP Grants
GEAR UP is an innovative, highly-competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized by Congress in 1999 under the Higher Education Opportunity Act to help level the playing field on college access for low-income students. Now in 44 states, its purpose is to significantly increase the number of students from low-income communities who graduate high school prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Department awards six- or-seven-year grants to states and to partnerships between universities and economically disadvantaged schools. Successful applicants must match the federal award, dollar-for-dollar.
History of NAU GEAR UP awards
As the administrator of three State GEAR UP grants and a Partnership grant since 2000, NAU has demonstrated nearly two decades of commitment to early intervention leading to college access.
2000 Accordion Open
NAU awarded a six-year, $12.6M State GEAR UP grant under Governor Jane Hull, as well as a six-year, $9.1M Partnership grant
2006 Accordion Closed
Governor Janet Napolitano named NAU as the applicant for a new six-year State GEAR UP grant, subsequently awarded at $16.9M
2012 Accordion Closed
Under Governor Jan Brewer, NAU is awarded $30 million in federal funds to administer Arizona GEAR UP 2012 – 2019
2019 Accordion Closed
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recognizes GEAR UP as uniquely qualified to partner in achieving Arizona’s postsecondary attainment goal and names NAU as applicant to compete for a new GEAR UP grant on behalf of the State.