Nevada GEAR UP

Nevada System Sponsored Programs and EPSCoR to promote the opportunities and collaborations within science, research, education, and technology for NSHE institutions in Nevada

Nevada GEAR UP

About GEAR UP and NSHE GEAR UP Subgrants

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepare to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing states and local community-education partnerships six-to seven year grants to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools.

The program serves at least one grade level of students, beginning no later than the 7th grade, following them through high school graduation and their first year in college. GEAR UP provides critical early college awareness and support activities like tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education and college scholarships to improve access to higher education for low income, minority and disadvantaged first-generation students and their families. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

The program mandates cooperation among K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, local and state education entities, businesses and community-based organizations. These dynamic partnerships are required to leverage local resources to match the federal investment dollar for dollar, creating a common agenda that more effectively facilitates the educational aspirations and attainment of students from low-income communities.


For more information on the GEAR UP federal grant, visit:

Nevada Gear Up

The State of Nevada was awarded a competitive GEAR UP Grant of approximately $21 million over a seven-year period by the United States Department of Education in 2012. Nevada GEAR UP provides funding to assist partnerships of high-poverty middle and high schools, community-based organizations, private industry, and institutions of higher education to help students and their parents learn about college. Nevada GEAR UP adopted a cohort model and started to provide services for two cohorts of GEAR UP students in 18 middle schools, all with a poverty level of over 50 percent. The first cohort began as Grade 7 students at selected middle schools across Nevada in 2012-2013, and the second cohort began as Grade 8 students at the same schools in 2013-2014. The state grant currently serves 22 high schools and combined schools and over 5,500 students throughout the state.

Nevada State GEAR UP is based on the need for students to do well academically in middle and high school, enroll in rigorous and relevant classes, graduate high school, and enter college as a natural extension of their education. Activities for students include mentoring; tutoring; Science, Math, Engineering, Technology (STEM) education; field trips; financial literacy; academic counseling, career counseling; summer programs; workshops; and parent/family involvement. Nevada State GU’s four goals are:

  1. Increase academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of GU students.
  2. Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of GU students.
  3. Increase GU student and family knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing.
  4. Create a college-going culture in GU middle schools to ensure that all students obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to apply for and succeed in postsecondary education.


For Nevada GEAR UP program information, visit:

NSHE GEAR UP Subgrants Programs

Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) administers over 3.7 million dollars in grant funds for three GEAR UP subgrant programs funded annually by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE).

GEAR UP Scholarship and Administration & Mentoring Programs

Approximately 2.7 million dollars are currently funded for GEAR UP Scholarship and GEAR UP Administration & Mentoring programs. These programs support GEAR UP college students who graduated from high school in 2007 and 2012 as well as early graduates from 2006 and 2011 and who currently attend NSHE institutions.

For GEAR UP Scholarship eligibility requirements, contact one of the NSHE financial aid offices or Nevada Department of Education at (775) 687-9150 or

State-Wide GEAR UP Programs

Approximately million dollars are subgranted to NSHE annually by NDE in order to support the state-wide GEAR UP programs accomplished by NSHE institutions. The NSHE subaward programs provide a research project, various outreach activities, and direct student services for GEAR UP high school students, family, teachers and SPIFs (Student Parent Involvement Facilitators) in GEAR UP schools.

GEAR UP Ambassadors & Near-Peer Mentors Program

NSHE institutions have designated GEAR UP Ambassadors who are committed to serving GEAR UP students directly. In partnership with SPIFs, GEAR UP Ambassadors provide various outreach services for GEAR UP students and families including maintenance of college corners in GEAR UP Schools, mentoring after class, campus visits, summer camps, family nights, financial aid presentations, and other college outreach activities and events.

To reinforce the GEAR UP outreach efforts of the Ambassador program, the Near-Peer Mentor (NPM) program was added to the NSHE GEAR UP FY17 subgrant. Each NSHE institution had the option to add a Near-Peer Mentor (NPM) to their Ambassador program. Each institution utilized their NPM in a capacity that best suited their needs, the needs of the students they serve, or highlighted the strength of the NPM. The purpose of the NPM is to build a stronger, more consistent presence in the GEAR UP schools, assist the Ambassador with various outreach programs and tasks, and be a resource for students to inquire about college information and experience. Near-Peer Mentors are generally college students that are close in age to our current cohort of GEAR UP students. This will enable our students to connect with someone who has navigated the college admissions and financial aid process.

See the FY18 GEAR UP Ambassador program proposals for each NSHE institution:


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an important component of the Nevada State GEAR UP program.


The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) FY18 GEAR UP STEM program activities for Students and Parents workshops will support the Nevada Vision for K-12 education and is founded on the following: (1) change the culture of schools located in economically disadvantaged communities to ensure that all students are prepared academically and have resources to attend and succeed in college and (2) increase Nevada System of Higher Education institution involvement in GU schools to facilitate a seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary attendance and success” (2011 Nevada GEAR UP Grant).

The UNLV GEAR UP grant will serve GEAR UP high school students and their parents directly using a proactive approach to transitioning students from high school to postsecondary education. The STEM workshops delivered in the fall will introduce students and parents to the “first principles” of science and mathematics and strengthen interest in the STEM areas. Demonstration kits will be used at winter workshops and college fairs to expand the students’ and families’ knowledge of STEM majors. Facilitators will discuss the pathway to choosing a STEM field, provide information on how best to prepare and required skills to be successful. Spring workshops will allow students to see the application of STEM education by exposing them to research during hands-on laboratory experience with faculty and graduate students.

For further information:

UNR VEX Robotics and STEM:

The University of Nevada Reno FY18 VEX Robotics and STEM program consists of two components: (1) an intensive effort to ensure that students interested in STEM-related fields take the final step to apply to a college/university; and (2) STEM workshops for northwest Nevada and Dean’s Future Scholars (DFS) GEAR UP students.

The two components provide direct services to GEAR UP students to meet Nevada State GEAR UP Goal #2, to increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education. It is intended to be the final push to facilitate the students actually crossing the finish line by applying and attending college. The proposal also relates to Goal #3, increasing knowledge of postsecondary options by providing specific postsecondary (and career) opportunities related to STEM fields.

For further information:

UNR Dean’s Future Scholars (DFS) Program

The UNR Dean’s Future Scholars (DFS) program has a history of successful partnerships with Nevada State GEAR UP and the Washoe County School District. These partnerships have resulted in successful high school preparation and postsecondary access for students in the Washoe County School District area. The academic success of these students will be enhanced by the program’s focus on three of the GEAR UP goals to: (1) increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of GEAR UP; (2) increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of GEAR UP students; and (3) increase GEAR UP students’ and families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.

For further information:

GEAR UP Research and Longitudinal Studies

GEAR UP Research and Longitudinal Studies project being conducted by the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) includes two studies: (1) a longitudinal study of 44 GEAR UP students that explores the role that relationships play in the development of academic self-identity; and (2) a study to understand the impact of GEAR UP on persistence in postsecondary education.

For further information:

NSHE GEAR UP Professional Development

GEAR UP funds support professional development trainings and meetings for GEAR UP Ambassadors, GEAR UP school SPIFS, college student mentors, and other GEAR UP staff. Professional development trainings are offered for various subjects including, but not limited to, financial education, mentorship, summer program, after-school programs, and increasing academic performance. GEAR UP professionals attend regional and national GEAR UP meetings to learn by sharing program experiences and interacting with peers and other state GEAR UP professionals.

In addition to the regional and national GEAR UP conferences, 2016 was the inaugural year for CoNVerge: College Access and Success for all Nevadans. This was a gathering of and for college access professionals from across the state. Many school districts, organizations, and institutions of higher education were in attendance. Many GEAR UP staff were instrumental in making this conference a reality. CoNVerge will continue as an annual event, alternating location between Las Vegas and Reno.

FY17 Subgrant Reporting Requirements

All GEAR UP Sub-recipients are required to submit interim and final program reports with cost share/in-kind match documentation.

Sub-recipients must use required reporting forms and submit the reports to required due dates via email.

See GEAR UP Report Instructions (pdf file below) for further requirements.

ReportsWho needs to submitSubmission DateReport Form
Interim Program Report (IPR)All GEAR UP Sub-recipients03/22/2017Download Report
Final Program Report (FPR)All GEAR UP Sub-recipients10/31/2017Download Report
Report InstructionsDownload Report

Questions on Interim and Final Program Reports

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