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84.334 Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs


Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Subpart 2, Chapter 2, Title IV, Part A.
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Provides 6-year grants to States and partnerships to provide support and maintain a commitment to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities, to help the students obtain a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP has two major service components. All projects provide a comprehensive set of early intervention services including mentoring, tutoring, academic and career counseling, parental involvement, and other college preparation activities like exposure to college campuses and financial aid information and assistance. Some projects provide college scholarships to participating students.


Project Grants
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(1) State Grants. States receiving funds are required (unless they receive a waiver) to provide both an early intervention and a scholarship component, targeted to low-income students in grades K-12. At least 50 percent, but not more than 75 percent, of the grant funds must be used to provide scholarships to participating students. Conversely, at least 25 percent, but not more than 50 percent, of the funds must be used for early intervention services. To meet the matching requirement, States must cover at least 50 percent of the project costs with cash or in-kind contributions from non-Federal sources.

(2) Partnership Grants. Eligible partnerships consist of one or more local educational agencies and one or more degree granting institutions of higher education and not less than two other community organizations or entities such as businesses, professional organizations, State agencies, institutions, or other public or private agencies or organizations. Partnerships receiving funds are not required to provide a scholarship component. However, they are required to provide an early intervention component to at least one cohort or grade level of students beginning no later than the 7th grade, in a school that has a 7th grade and in which at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, or to an entire grade level of students, not later than the 7th grade, who reside in public housing. This program is subject to nonsupplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate, which is referenced under 34 CFR 76.564-76.569. For assistance call the Office of the Chief Financial Officer/Indirect Cost Group at (202) 708-7770.


Applicant Eligibility:   A State, or a partnership consisting of one or more local education agencies acting on behalf of one or more elementary schools or secondary schools; and the secondary schools that students from the schools (elementary/secondary) would normally attend; one or more degree granting institutions of higher education; and at least two community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional associations, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, State agencies, parent groups, and/or nonprofit organizations. States are required to conduct both components.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Low-income students and students in high-poverty schools.

Credentials/Documentation:   OMB Circular No. A-21 applies. OMB Circular No. A-122 applies. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

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Pre-application Coordination:   Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure:   OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. In any fiscal year in which funds are available for new awards, the Department of Education publishes a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications and establishing a deadline date. An application package is available from the Office of Higher Education Programs. Copies are available on the web page and will also be mailed upon request.

Award Procedure:   Peer review panels composed of representatives from public and private higher education, and State, and local education agencies having expertise in elementary, secondary, and higher education.

Deadlines:   Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   

Notification usually is made within 4 months of the deadline for submission of applications.


Not Applicable.


Applications for renewal of multi-year projects are processed and funded before those for new projects. Renewals are subject to the availability of funds.

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Formula and Matching Requirements:   

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: The statute requires a cash or in kind match from non-Federal sources. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   

Grants are made for up to 5 years, subject to the availability of funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic transfer.


Reports:   As required by the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for direct grant porgrams (34 CFR 75). Generally, annual performance and financial reports are required. Cash reports are not applicable. Annual performance reports are required as part of the submittal of form ED 524B. Annual expenditures reports are required as part of the submittal of form ED 524B. Staff also monitor grants drawdowns using agency financial reports. Reporting on performance measures is required as part of the submittal of form ED 524B.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records:   EDGAR for direct grant programs (34 CFR part 75). Generally, records related to grant funds, compliance and performance must be maintained for a periof of 3 years after completion of the grant.


Account Identification:  


Obligations:   (Project Grants) FY 08 $303,423,000; FY 09 est $313,212,000; FY 10 est $313,212,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  

State grants: Average award in FY 15, $3,687,027. Partnership grants: Average award in FY 15, $1,838,545.

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Not Applicable.


Education Department General Administrative Regulations, EDGAR; 34 CFR 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99 and 34 CFR Part 694; OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, A-122, and A-133.


Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:   Karmon Simms-Coates, State Service, Office of Postsecondary Education, College Access Challenge Grant Program, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20202 Email: Phone: (202) 453-7197

Web Site Address:


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

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