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

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is the GEAR UP program statute and regulations?
  2. What is the mission of the GEAR UP program?
  3. How many years may an applicant implement a GEAR UP project?
  4. Does GEAR UP have standardized objectives?
  5. What types of GEAR UP projects are allowable?
  6. What is an eligible entity for the Partnership Grants competition?
  7. What is an eligible entity for the State Grants competition?
  8. What is an absolute priority?
  9. How does an applicant correctly address the absolute priority?
  10. What might an applicant include to address the activities in the absolute priority?
  11. How does an applicant, in addressing activity (d) in Category 2 of the absolute priority, demonstrate that its proposed strategy is “evidence-based”?
  12. Can State applicants receive Competitive Preference Priority points?
  13. What is the maximum funding a State applicant can request per year?
  14. What is the maximum funding a Partnership applicant can request per year?
  15. How are State applicants required to allocate Federal funds?
  16. What is the GEAR UP match requirement?
  17. May an applicant request a waiver of the GEAR UP match requirement?
  18. How are applicants required to present Federal and non-Federal expenditures?
  19. What is an example of a partnership single cohort budget allocation for a 7-year grant?
  20. Are applicants required to have an approved indirect cost rate?
  21. What are the services that may be implemented under the GEAR UP program?
  22. What are the two implementation models under GEAR UP?
  23. What is the cohort student model?
  24. What are some examples of allowable cohort designs?
  25. Does an applicant implementing a cohort model have to provide evidence that all the target schools have at least 50% students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch?
  26. How does a project serve a “substantial majority” of GEAR UP students under the cohort model?
  27. What is the priority student model?
  28. May GEAR UP projects provide scholarships?
  29. What are the eligibility requirements for students to receive scholarships?
  30. What are some ways to avoid common application mistakes?

1. What is the GEAR UP program statute and regulations?

The GEAR UP program is authorized under Sections 404A– 404H of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, (20 USC §§1070a-21—1070a-28) and the program regulations are located U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Subtitle B, Chapter VI, Part 694. The law can be found here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2016-title20/html/USCODE-2016-title20-chap28-subchapIV-partA-subpart2-divsn2.htm and the regulations can be found here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title34-vol4/xml/CFR-2012-title34-vol4-part694.xml.

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2. What is the mission of the GEAR UP program?

The GEAR UP program is a discretionary grant program that supports efforts to increase the number of low-income students that obtain a secondary school diploma and prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.

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3. How many years may an applicant implement a GEAR UP project?

GEAR UP has two authorized grant performance periods: six years (72 months) or seven years (84 months). An applicant can only implement a 7-year grant if the project is designed to provide services through the students’ first year of attending an institution of higher education (IHE).

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4. Does GEAR UP have standardized objectives?

No. GEAR UP does not have standardized objectives. For more information, please consult the “Purpose of Program” section of the GEAR UP NIAs.

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5. What types of GEAR UP projects are allowable?

GEAR UP has two types of projects: State and Partnership. State projects generally implement statewide initiatives, such as professional development, parental involvement, and curriculum enrichment, and they support local efforts to achieve the project objectives. Partnership projects are usually more locally concentrated. These two different types of projects each have their own separate competition and program requirements.

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6. What is an eligible entity for the Partnership Grants competition?

A partnership must consist of (1) one or more local educational agencies (LEA) and (2) one or more degree-granting IHEs (see 20 USC §1070a–21(c)(2)).

Partnerships may also optionally include not less than two other community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional organizations, State agencies, or other public or private agencies or organizations.

The statutory language of 20 USC §1070a–21(c)(2) makes the inclusion of community organizations or entities optional; however, if an applicant decides to include community organizations or entities in its eligible partnership, it must include at least two.

The chart below describes this eligibility:

Partnership

Eligible to Apply?

LEA + IHE

Yes

LEA + IHE + 1 community organization or entity

No

LEA + IHE + 2 or more community organizations or entities

Yes

If a partnership is an ineligible entity for this competition, their application will be rejected and will not be reviewed or scored by the peer reviewers. Applicants are sometimes deemed ineligible because they do not have the correct amount or type of partners.

A partnership can apply for and administer more than one GEAR UP grant, as long as each application does not propose to serve the same students or provide duplicative services.

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7. What is an eligible entity for the State Grants competition?

States. This includes, in addition to the several States of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Freely Associated States (see 20 USC §1003(21)).

The governor of a State must designate, in writing, which State agency can apply for and administer the State GEAR UP grant. The letter must be included in the application, on official State letterhead and be signed by the Governor.

Per Congressional direction in the Explanatory Statement to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141), States may only administer one active State GEAR UP grant at a time. Therefore, only States without an active State GEAR UP grant, or States that have an active State GEAR UP grant that is scheduled to end prior to October 1, 2018, are eligible to receive a new State GEAR UP award in this competition.

States that have a grant that is scheduled to end prior to October 1, 2018, even if their grant is later extended through a no-cost extension, are eligible to apply.

If a State is an ineligible entity for this competition, its application will be rejected and will not be reviewed or scored by the peer reviewers.

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8. What is an absolute priority?

An absolute priority describes items that an applicant must address in its application in order to receive an award. After Department staff has determined that the absolute priority and application requirements are met, an application proceeds to the peer reviewers for a qualitative review and scoring. Those applications that do not meet the absolute priority are rejected as incomplete and are not reviewed or scored by the peer reviewers.

The absolute priority in this competition is an additional component on top of the statutory and regulatory requirements of the GEAR UP program and is drawn from the Secretary's Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096).

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9. How does an applicant correctly address the absolute priority?

As the GEAR UP NIAs describe, applicants must address at least one activity in at least three of the four categories. Addressing additional activities or addressing all four categories will not increase an applicant’s score, but applicants may choose to do so.

Below are several examples of how an applicant may correctly—and incorrectly—address the absolute priority. As a reminder, the Department has not prescribed how an applicant must respond to the absolute priority. Applicants are free to choose and address the activities of the absolute priority however they think is best.

Applicants are encouraged to designate in their applications what specific activities they addressed in the absolute priority.

Correct Example #1: An applicant writes to the following three activities:

  • Activity (b) in Category 1: "Providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations."
  • Activity (e) in Category 2: "Utilizing technology for educational purposes in communities served by rural local educational agencies…or other areas identified as lacking sufficient access to such tools and resources."
  • Activity (a) in Category 3: "Protecting free speech in order to allow for the discussion of diverse ideas or viewpoints."

Here, the applicant has correctly addressed the absolute priority because the applicant has selected at least one activity in at least three different categories.

Correct Example #2: An applicant writes to the following four activities:

  • Activity (c) in Category 2: "Creating or expanding partnerships between schools, LEAs, State educational agencies, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, or IHEs to give students access to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based learning experiences in STEM fields, including computer science."
  • Activity (d) in Category 2: "Other evidence-based…and innovative approaches to expanding access to high-quality STEM education, including computer science."
  • Activity (b) in Category 3: "Fostering knowledge of the common rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and civic participation, such as through civics education."
  • The Activity in Category 4: "Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility."

Here, the applicant has correctly addressed the absolute priority because the applicant has selected at least one activity in three different categories (four activities in three categories). Addressing additional activities or addressing all four categories will not increase an applicant's score, but applicants may choose to do so.

Incorrect Example #1: An applicant writes to the following three activities:

  • Activity (b) in Category 1: "Providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations."
  • Activity (d) in Category 2: "Other evidence-based…and innovative approaches to expanding access to high-quality STEM education, including computer science.
  • Activity (e) in Category 2: "Utilizing technology for educational purposes in communities served by rural local educational agencies…or other areas identified as lacking sufficient access to such tools and resources."

Here, the applicant has incorrectly addressed the absolute priority because the applicant has not selected at least one activity in three different categories (the applicant has selected two activities in one category). The applicant should have selected at least one activity in three different categories. This application will be rejected as incomplete and will not be reviewed or scored by the peer reviewers.

Incorrect Example #2: An applicant writes to the following two activities:

  • Activity (a) in Category 3: "Protecting free speech in order to allow for the discussion of diverse ideas or viewpoints."
  • The Activity in Category 4: "Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility."

Here, the applicant has incorrectly addressed the absolute priority because the applicant has not selected at least one activity in three different categories (the applicant has selected only two activities in two categories). The applicant should have selected an additional activity in Categories 1 or 2 to address. This application will be rejected as incomplete and will not be reviewed or scored by the peer reviewers.

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10. What might an applicant include to address the activities in the absolute priority?

The Department has not prescribed how an applicant must respond to the absolute priority. Applicants are free to address the activities of the absolute priority however they think is best.

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11. How does an applicant, in addressing activity (d) in Category 2 of the absolute priority, demonstrate that its proposed strategy is “evidence-based”?

Should an applicant write to activity (d) in category 2 of the absolute priority, it must demonstrate that its proposed activity is "evidence-based," as defined in 34 CFR §77.1 (and in the NIA). Applicants may do so by:

  • "Demonstrating a Rationale" by submitting a "Logic Model" (as defined in 34 CFR §77.1 and in the NIA) that (1) identifies the strategy or project component to expand access to high-quality STEM education, including computer science; and (2) is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve "Relevant Outcomes" (34 CFR §77.1 and in the NIA); or
  • By submitting a citation of a study that is (1) related to high-quality STEM education, including computer science, (2) relevant to the proposed project, and (3) meets at least the standards set forth in the "Promising Evidence" definition (34 CFR §77.1 and in the NIA).

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), which compiles scientific evidence on education programs, products, practices, and policies. The website is located here: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/FWW.

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12. Can State applicants receive Competitive Preference Priority points?

Yes. State applicants may earn additional points by responding to the competitive preference priority in the State GEAR UP competition. An applicant applying for a State project can receive up to 2 points for prior experience. If the applicant was successful in implementing a previous GEAR UP grant prior to August 14, 2008, the applicant can receive 1 point. In addition, if the applicant has prior, demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading to college access through collaboration and replication of successful strategies, the applicant can receive another point.

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13. What is the maximum funding a State applicant can request per year?

The maximum funding an applicant can request per year for a State GEAR UP grant is $5 million.

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14. What is the maximum funding a Partnership applicant can request per year?

The maximum funding an applicant can request per year for a Partnership grant is $800 multiplied by the number of students the Partnership proposes to serve that year (see 34 CFR §694.1(a)).

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15. How are State applicants required to allocate Federal funds?

State applicants must allocate no less than 25% and no more than 50% of Federal funds for activities. An applicant can allocate more than 50% for activities if a waiver is granted for scholarships. No less than 50% Federal funds must be allocated for scholarships. An applicant does not have to comply with the 50% scholarship allocation if the applicant has another means (non-Federal) of providing scholarships to GEAR UP students (see 20 USC §1070a–25(b)).

An example of the aforementioned allocation is if a State applicant requests a 6-or 7- year total budget of $8,000 in Federal funds, an applicant can allocate $4,000 for scholarships and $4,000 for activities—a 50/50 split. An applicant may also use the entire $8,000 for activities, if an applicant is granted a waiver of the required scholarship allocation. Lastly, an applicant can allocate $2,000 for activities (25%; the minimum allocation of Federal funds for activities) and $6,000 for scholarships if the applicant does not request a scholarship waiver.

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16. What is the GEAR UP match requirement?

Applicants are required to match the Federal contribution dollar-for-dollar. Specifically, the non-Federal contribution must equal at least 50% of the total project costs. For instance, if an applicant requests a total of $3 million in Federal funds, the matching contribution is an additional $3 million. The applicant is the fiscal agent and is responsible for documenting all matching contributions for the entire grant period. Matching may be provided in cash or in-kind and may be accrued over the full duration of the grant award period. Applicants must make substantial progress towards meeting the matching requirement in each year of the grant (see 20 USC §1070a–23(b)).

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17. May an applicant request a waiver of the GEAR UP match requirement?

Yes. However, only applications for the partnerships grants competition may do so. Partnership applicants may choose to request among the following waivers in their application:

  1. Waive up to 75% of the match requirement for up to 2 years (natural disaster or similar)
  2. Waive up to 50% of the match requirement for up to 2 years (demonstrates a pre-existing and an on-going significant economic hardship)
  3. Tentative approval of up to 50% waiver, after approval of the 50% waiver in option (b), for all remaining years of the project period (requires recertification every two years)
  4. Matching funds used for GEAR UP scholarships count as double match for the duration of the project period
  5. Waive up to 70% of the total match requirement for the duration of the project period if the project (1) has less than four IHEs, (2) the fiscal agent be an LEA or certain type of IHE, (3) participating schools have a 7th grade cohort in which 75% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and (4) the participating school district(s) have at least 50% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch

The chart below summarizes each application waiver option:


Waiver Option

How long?

What evidence or documentation must be provided?

Authority

  • Up to 75% of the match requirement

Up to 2 years

The applicant must demonstrate a significant economic hardship that stems from a specific, exceptional, or uncontrollable event, such as a natural disaster, that has a devastating effect on the members of the Partnership and the community in which the project would operate.

34 CFR §694.8(a)

  • Up to 50% of the match requirement

Up to 2 years

The applicant must demonstrate a pre-existing and an on-going significant economic hardship that precludes the applicant from meeting its matching requirement. The Department may consider the following documentation—

  • Severe distress in the local economy of the community to be served by the grant (e.g., there are few employers in the local area, large employers have left the local area, or significant reductions in employment in the local area);
  • Local unemployment rates that are higher than the national average;
  • Low or decreasing revenues for State and County governments in the area to be served by the grant
  • Significant reductions in the budgets of IHEs that are participating in the grant; or
  • Other data that reflect a significant economic hardship for the geographical area served by the applicant.

34 CFR §694.8(b)(1-2)

  • Tentative approval of up to 50% waiver

All remaining years of the project period

In order to exercise this waiver option, applicants must also request approval for the 50% option described in Option (b), above, in their application. Thereafter, grantees must submit to the Department every two years documentation that demonstrates—

  • The significant economic hardship upon which the waiver was granted still exists; and
  • The grantee tried diligently, but unsuccessfully, to obtain contributions needed to meet the matching requirement.

34 CFR §694.8(b)(3)

  • Matching funds for scholarships count as double match

For the duration of the project period

An applicant must propose a scholarship component and indicate that the scholarship program will be funded through matching funds. Thereafter, for every scholarship dollar provided as match, it counts as two matching dollars towards the GEAR UP program dollar-for-dollar matching requirement.

34 CFR §694.8(c)

  • Up to 70% of the total match requirement

For the duration of the project period

Partnership applicants must—

  • Have three or fewer IHEs;
  • Be a fiscal agent that is eligible to receive funds under title V (Developing Institutions), or Part B of title III (a Historically Black College or University), or section 316 or 317 of the HEA (an American Indian Tribally Controlled College and University or Alaska Native And Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution), or be an LEA;
  • Only have participating schools with a 7th grade cohort in which at least 75 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; and
  • Only have LEAs in which at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch

34 CFR §694.8(d)

In general, applicants should provide detailed and comprehensive evidence and documentation to support their matching requests. Match requests lacking sufficient justification may not be granted at all or may be granted for amounts smaller or for a shorter time period than requested.

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18. How are applicants required to present Federal and non-Federal expenditures?

All applicants must fill out the Project Budget Summary Form in the GEAR UP Application Package. Applicants must also provide a detailed budget narrative for the first year of the grant performance period. The narrative must address Federal expenditures and matching contributions.

The Federal section of the Project Budget Summary Form, the total requested amounts in Years 2 through 7 should not exceed the total requested amount in the first year. For example, if an applicant requests $3 million in Year 1, they cannot request more than $3 million in subsequent years. Applicants must keep this in mind if they are planning to implement a feeder pattern cohort because funding will not increase each year an applicant subsequently picks up or adds new grades.

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19. What is an example of a partnership single cohort budget allocation for a 7-year grant?

An applicant would start with 1,000 7th graders and allocate $800,000 for the first year (remember, the maximum amount a partnership applicant can request per year is $800 per student). If an applicant follows the single cohort with fidelity, the funding in subsequent years ultimately decreases after students leave the originating school and the number of students decrease. Applicants obviously should estimate the possible student decline based on past data. For example, if a project is implementing a single cohort model that started with 7th graders, the requested funds when students are 9th graders in high school will be less.

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20. Are applicants required to have an approved indirect cost rate?

Yes. Applicants must have an approved restricted indirect cost rate if indirect costs will be charged to the GEAR UP grant. All grant recipients are limited to a maximum restricted indirect cost rate of eight (8) percent of a modified total direct cost or the amount permitted by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, whichever is less. Even if an applicant does not have an approved indirect cost rate at the time of application, applicants are allowed to include indirect costs in the proposed budget if they have started the process of acquiring or renewing an indirect cost rate agreement. However, the grantee must submit an indirect cost proposal to its cognizant agency within 90 days after the grant is awarded or it may not continue to charge indirect costs. For more information, see 34 CFR §75.560.

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21. What are the services that may be implemented under the GEAR UP program?

All applicants must address required services in the application. Projects should provide comprehensive mentoring, outreach, and supportive services to support the following required services:  a) information regarding financial aid for postsecondary education for participating students; b) encourage student enrollment in rigorous or challenging curricula and coursework, in order to reduce the need for remedial coursework at the postsecondary level; c) improve the number of participating students who obtain a secondary school diploma and complete applications for and enroll in a program of postsecondary education; and d) State projects must provide GEAR UP scholarships (see 20 USC §1070a–24(a)).

In addition, applicants have the option of implementing permissible services, such as tutoring, college tours, job shadowing, and cultural enrichment.   Permissible services allow the applicant to customize its project design to address specific needs of the target population (see 20 USC §1070a–24(b) and (c)).

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22. What are the two implementation models under GEAR UP?

GEAR UP has two implementation models: cohort model and priority student model. A State applicant can implement either a cohort model or a priority student model.

A Partnership applicant may only implement a cohort model.

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23. What is the cohort student model?

The cohort model has two approaches: the whole-grade approach and the public housing approach.  The whole-grade approach involves all the students in a particular grade level that attend an eligible school, and the public housing approach involves all students in a particular grade level that reside in a public housing (as defined in 42 USC  §1437a(b)(1)).  Below are the cohort parameters regarding project services and the originating school.

Project Services:

  • Projects must provide services to at least one grade level of students (e.g., all 7th graders);  In other words, if the project plans to serve 7th graders, it must offer services to every student in the 7th grade;
  • Begin services no later than 7th grade. Projects can opt to provide services to students in pre-K through 7th grade in the first year of the project.  However, projects cannot provide services to 8th and 9th graders in the first year;
  • Ensure services are provided through the 12th grade to students in the participating grade level; 
  • Ensure services are provided through the student's first year of attendance at an institution of higher education (IHE) (available with a 7-year grant award); 
  • After  the students complete the last grade level at the originating target school, the project must continue to provide services to the school that a substantial majority of cohort students attend; and
  • Provide services to students who have received services under a previous GEAR UP grant award but have not yet completed the 12th grade.

Originating School:

  • The originating school is the target school where the services begin. It must (1) have a 7th grade class and (2) have at least fifty percent of the students enrolled in the school must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
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24. What are some examples of allowable cohort designs?

The following table describes some examples of allowable cohort designs:

Type

Example

Single Grade Cohort

Serve just one class of 7th graders throughout the grant

Multi-Cohort

Starting with 6th and 7th graders and continuing to serve them throughout the grant

Feeder Pattern Cohort

Starting with a single grade (ex. 7th graders) the first year and then pick up another 7th grade class each year

All GEAR UP projects must provide services through high school graduation or a student;s first-year of attendance at an IHE, if the project has a performance period for 7 years. A project must adhere to this requirement even if services are provided to students that are in grades lower than 7th grade (for example, a project that starts with 5th and 6th graders) in the first year of the project.

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25. Does an applicant implementing a cohort model have to provide evidence that all the target schools have at least 50% students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch?

Yes. An applicant must provide documentation in the application that shows at least 50% of the students attending the originating school qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The originating school or schools are the location where the project services begin.

The documentation may be from a State education agency or school district’s website, a signed letter from the superintendent of schools or another credible source. Applicants should not simply provide a chart outlining free or reduced-price lunch information.

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26. How does a project serve a “substantial majority” of GEAR UP students under the cohort model?

Projects must continue to serve the school with the substantial majority of cohort students when the cohort moves on to a new school from the originating school. The originating school is the target school where the services begin. When students move on to another school, the substantial majority could be as little as twenty percent of the original cohort. In other instances, the substantial majority could be higher depending on the district’s feeder pattern.

An example of a substantial majority pattern for a cohort is if a project has 1,000 students in the originating schools and those students move on to two high schools – one high school enrolled 700 students from the original cohort and the other high school enrolled 300, the GEAR UP project is only required to serve the high school that has 700 of the original students. You are not required to pick up students who were not part of the original cohort after students leave the originating school.

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27. What is the priority student model?

Only State GEAR UP projects may implement the priority student model. Applicants have flexibility in selecting disconnected students because the Department does not define or have criteria for disconnected students. Disconnected students may include students who are:

  • Eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Limited English proficient
  • From groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Homeless children or youth
  • Students in foster care

An applicant should clearly describe which students they will serve under the priority student model.

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28. May GEAR UP projects provide scholarships?

Yes. Any applicant may include scholarships in the project design using Federal and non-Federal funds. State applicants are required to have a scholarship component unless granted a waiver; however, partnership applicants are not required to have a scholarship component and will not receive additional points if scholarships are included.

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29. What are the eligibility requirements for students to receive scholarships?

GEAR UP students are eligible to receive scholarships if they:

  1. have participated in a GEAR UP project;
  2. are under 22 years of age;
  3. possess a high school diploma or equivalent; and
  4. are enrolled or accepted for enrollment at a program of undergraduate instruction an IHE that is located in the State's boundaries, except that, at the grantee's option, a State or Partnership may offer scholarships to students who attend institutions of higher education outside the State.

See 20 USC §1070a-25(g)(3); 34 CFR §694.14.

Applicants cannot add other criteria or requirements for students to receive GEAR UP scholarships. A student may also receive a scholarship if the student transfers from the originating school and graduates from a high school that does not serve a “substantial majority” of GEAR UP students. In addition, projects have the option of providing scholarships to students that attend IHEs that are outside of their State.

The minimum amount a project must award to a student is the minimum Pell grant amount for the year the student will be utilizing the GEAR UP scholarship.

Scholarship funds must be held in reserve with at least an amount equal to the minimum scholarship amount multiplied by the estimated number of eligible students. However, State projects using a priority model may award scholarships directly rather than holding funds in reserve, as applicable.

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30. What are some ways to avoid common application mistakes?

In every GEAR UP competition, applicants make avoidable mistakes that result in their application being rejected. To help reduce the chances that an application will be rejected for an avoidable mistake, please consider the following best practices:

  1. Submit your application early. Applications that are not fully uploaded and time-stamped by 4:30:00 Eastern Time on the application deadline date are considered late and are rejected. In every competition, the Department receives applications that are a few seconds after the deadline and are rejected. Follow the instructions in the Application Package and Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.gpo.gov/​fdsys/​pkg/​FR-2018-02-12/​pdf/​2018-02558.pdf. Please submit well in advance of the deadline.
  2. Check your ability to submit an application and verify your System for Award Management (SAM) registration well before the application deadline date. An applicant needs a DUNS number in order to submit an application. If you do not have one, or need to renew one, this process can take weeks. Additionally, the General Services Administration (GSA) has imposed a new requirement concerning the submission of a notarized letter appointing a designated entity administrator in order to register for SAM.  As you know, successful registration in SAM is a prerequisite to being able to register in Grants.gov and submit an application electronically. Please consult the Application Package for more information.
  3. Adequately address the absolute priority and the program requirements in the Notice. Applications that fail to adequately address both the absolute priority and the program requirements are considered incomplete and will be rejected.
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Last Modified: 06/26/2018