Prosser - GEAR UP stands for "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs" and is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education. They increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. By providing State and local community-education partnerships, six-to-seven year grants offer support services to high-poverty middle schools and high schools. The program serves at least one grade level of students beginning no later than the 7th grade and following them throughout high school and into their first year of college. GEAR UP provides critical early college awareness and support activities like tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial aid and scholarship education.