Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

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Applicant Information

There are two grant competitions under the GEAR UP Program; one for State Grants and one for Partnership Grants.

GEAR UP Program -- State Grants and Partnership Grants
Applicant Information


Current competition for State and Partnership Grants: FY 2017
Application available for State Grants: March 13, 2017; Application deadline for State Grants: April 24, 2017
Application available for Partnership Grants: March 10, 2017; Application deadline for Partnership Grants: April 19, 2017

FY 2017 On-site and Webinar Pre-Application Technical Assistance Workshops

Federal Register Notices

Current Application

All applicants are required to submit an application online through is a single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by federal and other grant-making agencies.

Through you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may search for the downloadable application package for this program by CFDA number or the Funding Opportunity Number. For Partnership Grants, search for CFDA 84.334A or Funding Opportunity Number ED-GRANTS-031017-001; for State Grants, search for CFDA 84.334S or ED-GRANTS-031317-002. If you experience problems submitting your application through, refer to the Support page and/or contact the Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. For program-specific questions, contact the program officer below.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Additional Application Guidance

Note: In making awards for the 2017 GEAR UP competition, the Department funded the highest quality applications under both Partnership and State competitions based on the scores of the independent peer reviewers. This decision was consistent with the GEAR UP program statute set forth in section 1070a-21 et seq. of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended; the regulations of the GEAR UP program at 34 CFR part 694 and other applicable Department regulations; and the rules published in the Federal Register for the 2017 State and Partnership grant competitions set forth in their respective Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) (82 FR 13442 and 82 FR 13315).

State Grants

  • There is no requirement for currently-funded State grantees whose projects do not end until FY 2018 or FY 2019 to apply under the FY 2017 competition.
  • If a current State grantee in this situation decides to compete in FY 2017, and receives a score high enough to be considered for funding, the new project would not begin until the end of the current project cycle (i.e., 2018 or 2019), contingent on funding.
  • There is a provision in the Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards that allows the Department to make additional awards in FY 2018 and subsequent years from the list of highly-ranked, unfunded applications from the FY 2017 competition.
  • A successful State applicant would have the opportunity to complete its current grant award cycle and would not lose the remaining years on their current grant. (This information only applies to State grants; there is nothing that prevents an applicant from implementing more than one partnership grant simultaneously.)

Staff Professional Development Travel

  • There is no cap on the number of staff that would be able to attend a selected conference or workshop during a specific year.
  • Whatever decision the applicant makes in terms of the number of travelers should reflect consideration of the applicant’s staff training and development needs, the applicant’s resources, and the project workflow at the time of the selected conferences/workshops.

Tips and Assistance

FY 2017 Workshops and Webinars: To assist applicants in developing successful grant proposals, the Student Service area will conduct on-site and webinar pre-application technical assistance workshops in March and April 2017. Register here for the FY 2017 GEAR UP workshops.

Peer Reviewers Needed

Office of Postsecondary Education peer reviewer information can be found in G5. Contact the program office for more information.

Application Contact

Karmon Simms-Coates, Program Lead,, 202-453-7917
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Postsecondary Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Room 5W250
Washington, DC 20202-6450


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Last Modified: 11/08/2017