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GEAR UP Scholarship

GEAR UP Scholarship:

DPI WEOP supports students in their pursuit of postsecondary education and makes available a GEAR UP Scholarship for eligible Wisconsin GEAR UP (WIGU) students and eligible outreach students.  Students must apply for the scholarship during their senior year of high school and before the July 15 deadline. Nominations will begin in August and awards will begin to be issued in late September/early October. 

Scholarship Criteria

  • GEAR UP Enrollment Date
    • The dollar amount of the scholarship varies based on when the student enrolled in GEAR UP.
    • Previous GEAR UP Grants (Enrollments BEFORE August 23, 2019)
    • Newly awarded 2019 GEAR UP Grant (Enrollments AFTER August 23, 2019)
  • Scholarship Type
    • Priority Student Scholarship - Eligible GEAR UP students who complete six or more college credits through dual enrollment or earn a micro-credential while in high school are eligible for a greater scholarship amount. Priority students are eligible for up to eight (8) semesters. 
      • Priority WITH dual enrollment or micro-credential (requires copy of transcripts from associated institution)
      • Priority WITHOUT dual enrollment or micro-credential
    • Outreach - Eligible Outreach students will compete for a variable set of funds each year. The total number of available scholarships depends on the number of eligible priority students who apply. The student must have attended a GEAR UP outreach service. Scholarships will be awarded to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Outreach students are eligible for up to four (4) semesters. 

Deadline to apply: Students must apply for the scholarship by July 15 following their senior year of high school, but early application is encouraged.  Only complete applications will be considered. 



GEAR UP Enrollments PRIOR TO 8/23/2019
Scholarship Type Scholarship Amount
Priority Up to $2,500
Outreach Up to $1,000.00
GEAR UP Enrollments EFFECTIVE 8/23/2019
Scholarship Type Scholarship Amount
Priority students WITH dual enrollment or micro-credential Up to $3,501
Priority students WITHOUT dual enrollment or micro-credential Up to $2,501
Outreach Up to $1,000

As program funds allow, scholarships may be automatically renewed beyond the first year of issuance for up to eight total semesters for priority scholarship students and four total semesters for outreach scholarship students, based on continuous enrollment eligibility. Continuation of scholarships beyond the first year is at the program’s discretion and contingent upon available funding and is in no way guaranteed.


Eligible students will demonstrate financial need at the time of application and meet the following criteria:

  • Be under 22 years of age at the time of the first scholarship award.
  • Have received a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent on or after January 1, 1998.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment, and provide proof of enrollment or acceptance, in a program of undergraduate instruction at a public, private non-profit, or technical college in Wisconsin.
  • Have participated in a service provided by the WIGU project.

Students will be notified of awards via mail/or email.

To apply for the GEAR UP Scholarship, complete the PI-5108 GEAR UP Scholarship Application. 

DPI GEAR UP Scholarship Applications

Submit completed applications and supporting documents to your local WEOP office

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

Ashland WEOP Office

Eau Claire WEOP Office

Green Bay WEOP Office

Milwaukee WEOP Office

Wausau WEOP Office

Maintaining Eligibility Throughout College

The GEAR UP scholarship may be renewed for up to eight consecutive semesters of enrollment (four semesters for outreach students) at a qualified institution of higher education, as long as the student continues to make satisfactory academic progress according to the school's standards. 

If a student transfers to another eligible college or university within Wisconsin, the scholarship will transfer as long as the student completes the PI-5106 GEAR UP Scholarship Transfer Request Form.   The 23-24 form will be available in June 2023. 

If a student drops out of college for financial, medical, or military service reasons, the scholarship may be reinstated once the student re-enrolls in an eligible Wisconsin college or university. To request reinstatement the student must submit the PI-5107 Request for Exemption of Continuous Enrollment Requirement Form.

Funding: Funding is secured through the Department of Education and is a seven-year renewable grant in the amount of $5,000,000. The grant must be matched dollar for dollar. One half of the grant ($2,500,000) must be used for the GEAR UP Scholarship.