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


GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) assists low-income and first generation students in obtaining a high school diploma and preparing for and succeeding in postsecondary education. In 2019, Governor Tony Evers designated the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program (WEOP) as the sole state agency to administer the GEAR UP grant. The GEAR UP grant is funded through the United States Department of Education.


  • Increase academic performance and preparation for post-secondary enrollment for Wisconsin GEAR UP (WIGU) students.
  • Increase the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary education (without the need for remediation) for WIGU students.
  • Increase WIGU students’ and their families’ knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing.

Services Provided:

  • One-on-one academic, career, or personal advising.
  • Personalized mentoring throughout the senior year and throughout first year of college.
  • Close monitoring of grades, attendance, and homework completion and early intervention via tutoring or referrals as needed.
  • Instruction and guidance on college and career readiness topics.
  • College visits and cultural events.
  • Personalized mentoring throughout senior year and throughout first year of college.
  • Consideration for GEAR UP Scholarship.

Eligibility: ​​​​​​ ​

  • Must be enrolled in a GEAR UP target school (please see list below). 
  • Must be eligible for free or reduced price meals, at time of GEAR UP enrollment.
  • Must be between the grades 6 through 12.
  • Must be a United States citizen or national, permanent resident of the United States, or be able to provide documentation from U.S. Immigration of their intent to become a permanent resident.

Wisconsin GEAR UP Target Schools

School District Middle Schools High Schools


(Ashland WEOP Office)

Ashland Middle School Ashland High School


(Ashland WEOP Office)

Bayfield Middle School Bayfield High School

Green Bay Area Public Schools

(Green Bay WEOP Office)

Edison Middle School East High School
Washington Middle School West High School
Preble High School
Southwest High School

Milwaukee Public Schools

(Milwaukee WEOP Office)

Cass Street Elementary Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
Congress Elementary Bradley Tech High School
Thurston Woods Middle School Hamilton High School
Vieau Elementary Milwaukee High School of Arts

King International


Riverside University High School
South Division High School
Washington High School Information and Technology
    King International


(Green Bay WEOP Office)

Shawano Community Middle School Shawano Community High School


(Green Bay WEOP Office)

Farnsworth Middle School Central High School
Horace Mann Middle School North High School
Urban Middle School South High School
Warriner Middle School Warriner High School

Racine Unified

(Milwaukee WEOP Office)

Gilmore Middle School Case High School
Jerstad Middle School Horlick High School
McKinley Middle School Park High School


(Wausau WEOP Office)

Horace Mann Middle School East High School
John Muir Middle School West High School

To apply for GEAR UP, complete the WEOP Student Application Form.

To upload your application to our secure server, submit a request to your local WEOP Office:

Ashland WEOP Office

Green Bay WEOP Office

Milwaukee WEOP Office

Wausau WEOP Office

Please contact your local WEOP Office for additional information.