The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project is a seven-year federal initiative designed to increase early college awareness and readiness in traditionally underrepresented groups. Texas GEAR UP is divided into two major strands:


  • All Texas school districts and educational organizations are welcome to use the Texas GEAR UP awareness and readiness resources available at and
  • Eligibility for the district intervention package grants is limited to the school districts and partners originally outlined in the agency's federal proposal.
  • High-need districts participating met the U.S. Department of Education qualifications for "persistently lowest achieving" or were eligible through the Texas' School Improvement Grant- Texas Title I Priority Schools.


The district intervention package implements a cohort model beginning with all 7th grade students in seven participating middle schools. The intervention package follows the cohort through all middle and high school grades and the first year of postsecondary education. The cohort size consists of 1,965 students at the start of the grant in Fall 2012.

Texas GEAR UP provides resources for educators, students, and parents on topics including:

  • College Readiness
  • College Awareness 
  • Advanced Academics 
  • Promising Outreach Practices 
  • Financial Aid 
  • Parent Involvement 
  • Mentors, Mindsets, and Relationships 

Nationally, GEAR UP students graduate from high school at a higher rate than their peers - regardless of ethnicity or income - and attend college at a higher rate. 

Texas GEAR UP implementation in the 2012-2019 federal grant period is being evaluated by ICF, Inc. Previous grant cycle operating from 2006-2012 was evaluated by the Texas Center for Educational Research.

Funding Information

A previous U.S. Department of Education GEAR UP grant cycle operated from July 21, 2006 through July 20, 2012. This cycle funding amount is $17,957,016 for the full performance period, with $2,992,836 per annual budget period. USDE approved a no-cost extension period to provide additional services to graduated cohort students. The no-cost extension period operates from July 21, 2006 - August 30, 2013.

The current GEAR UP cycle is granted with a performance period from July 23, 2012 through July 22, 2019. Annual budget periods are funded as follows, pending USDE annual allocations:

  • 2012 Year 1 (July 23, 2012 - July 22, 2013) $5,000,000
  • 2013 Year 2 (July 23, 2013 - July 22, 2014) $5,000,000
  • 2014 Year 3 (July 23, 2014 - July 22, 2015) $5,000,000
  • 2015 Year 4 (July 23, 2015 - July 22, 2016) $5,000,000
  • 2016 Year 5 (July 23, 2016 - July 22, 2017) $5,000,000
  • 2017 Year 6 (July 23, 2017 - July 22, 2018) $5,000,000
  • 2018 Year 7 (July 23, 2018 - July 22, 2019) $3,000,000


Participating School Districts and Campuses:

  • Edgewood ISD: Brentwood Middle School, Gus Garcia Middle School, J.T. Wrenn Middle School, John F. Kennedy High School, Memorial High School
  • Lubbock ISD: Dunbar College Preparatory School, Estacado High School
  • Manor ISD: Decker Middle School, Manor Middle School, Manor High School
  • Somerset ISD: Somerset Junior High School, Somerset High School

Partners and Major Service Providers:

  • The University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Public Schools Initiatives (IPSI)
  • College Board
  • Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG)
  • Texas STEM Centers (T-STEM)
  • AMS Pictures, Inc.

Laws and Rules



Kelly Ocasio
Texas Education Agency
Federal and State Education Policy
(512) 936-0356