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The Washington State GEAR UP program provides funding to support approximately 6,200 students in 26 high-poverty school districts in every geographical region of the state. This state program combines with eight partnership programs to serve nearly 39,000 students statewide. 

Image of Washington state highlighting school districts within the Washington State GEAR UP program.
The map above features school districts within the Washington State GEAR UP program. To view school districts served by Partnership programs and more options, view in Tableau. ​​​​

GEAR UP focuses on students from low-income and underserved communities, many of whom may be the first person in their family to graduate from high school or go on to college. GEAR UP services begin in middle school, guiding students and families through the early years of college preparation, including the academic, social, emotional, and financial aspects of preparation. GEAR UP ensures that they have access to the people, resources, and information needed to graduate from high school and continue their education in the postsecondary program or institution of their choice.

We provide access to financial aid resources, but we also teach valuable study skills and provide mentorship opportunities. We believe that personal relationships fuel a student’s desire to go to college and are just as important as academic success.

GEAR UP FOCUSES ON PREPARING STUDENTS FOR POSTSECONDARY PROGRAMS BY PROVIDING:

  • Tutoring and homework assistance
  • Comprehensive mentoring
  • Counseling and advising
  • College and career exploration
  • Financial literacy, financial aid, and scholarship information
  • Summer programs
  • College and career tours and field trips
  • Family events
  • College application support
  • Test preparation and study skills

Washington State GEAR UP has a strong commitment to building the capacity of our school district partners so that they can expand the reach of GEAR UP beyond the eligible student and family population. By providing ongoing, high-quality professional development, school staff – from administrators to support personnel –have the knowledge and resources to fully support the aspirations of their students. 

Robert John Meehan Quote

"Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding."

Robert John Meehan