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CWU - GEAR UP
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History of GEAR UP 

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal grant program administered by the United States Department of Education.

It was established in Chapter 2 of the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 which awarded financial assistance to students and colleges from the federal government.

GEAR UP was authored by Congressman Chaka Fattah and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October, 1998.

In 2002, Central Washington University (CWU) aquired its inaugural GEAR UP grant. Then, in 2005, CWU was awarded a second grant to serve students in Washington's Okanogan Valley. 

CWU secured a third GEAR UP award in 2011. The STEM-focused project was called Moving our Students Academically into College and Careers (MOSAIC). 

The university's existing and fourth GEAR UP grant was funded in 2014. The Success and Opportunities through Affordability, Relevance, and Rigor (SOAR) serves students in north Central Washington.      

  • 1990s

    1998

    GEAR UP is authored by Congressman Chaka Fattah and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. GEAR UP is approved as an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965, to address the education gap facing low-income students in postsecondary education.

    1999

    The first GEAR UP grants were awarded in August of 1999. There were two types of recipients: partnership and state agencies. Partnership grantees were required to create meaningful and continuing partnership with school districts, colleges, and other community/private organizations. State GEAR UP projects were not bound to this provision.    

    In this year, the Department of Education awarded 164 partnership grantees and 21 state grantees.

  • 2000s

    2000

    The Department of Education funded 80 new grantees (73 partnerships, 7 states).

    2001

    GEAR UP projects increased by 8 (6 partnerships, 2 states).  

    2002

    Central Washington University is awarded its first GEAR UP grant. The Department of Education awarded in total 51 new grantees (45 partnerships, 6 states).

    2003

    No new grants were funded by the Department of Education.

    2004

    For a second year, the Department of Education did not award new grants.    

    2005

    Securing its second GEAR UP grant, Central Washington University's Okanogan Valley GEAR UP served students in and around Okanogan County. There were 641 GEAR UP projects across the country, and the Department Education funded 125 new GEAR UP projects (98 partnerships, 27 states).

    2008

    By this year, only 5 states in the country did not have a GEAR UP grant.

  • 2010s

    2011

    On September 26, Central Washington University is awarded a GEAR UP grant with a budget of $11.2 million over 6 years. Sixty-six new grantees are awarded (47 partnerships, 19 states).  

    2012

    The Department of Education awarded 4 partnerships, 7 states.

    2013

    There were no new awards made this fiscal year.

    2014

    Central Washington University is awarded a fourth GEAR UP grant with a budget of $12.8 million over 7 years. Thirty-seven new GEAR projects are funded (27 partnerships, 10 states).

    2015

    In this year, only four projects are funded (3 partnerships, 1 state).

    2016  

    The Department of Education awarded 5 partnerships, 5 states.

    2017

    Thirty-four GEAR UP projects are funded (24 partnerships, 10 states).

    2018

    The Department of Education awarded 61 new grantees (55 partnership, 6 states).