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(Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for
Undergraduate Programs
) is a discretionary grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. Its goal is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
Students raising their hands

The NJ GEAR UP State Project has been awarded to Office of the Secretary of Higher Education in 1999, 2005, and 2011. In its efforts to prepare students for college, the project works with students, families, and teachers in 62 middle and high schools in nine urban centers.

The eight higher education partner institutions encourage students to obtain college degrees by providing: after-school and Saturday tutoring, summer programs, mentoring, counseling, test preparation, information about financial aid, and college visits. The initiative also emphasizes the importance of taking rigorous high school courses to prepare for postsecondary education and includes scholarships for students who attend eligible New Jersey institutions. NJ GEAR UP also provides professional development for educators within GEAR UP target schools.

Stack of Papers NJ GEAR UP students are also eligible for the state’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program.

New Jersey's financial aid agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, partners with NJ GEAR UP to provide information about how to pay for college in New Jersey.

Parents and teachers of NJ GEAR UP students benefit as well. Parents receive early information about postsecondary education options and availability of financial aid, while teachers receive professional development in core content areas.

Read more about the services offered or contact us for more information.


NJ GEAR UP State Project Programs

Program Sites Higher Education Partner
Atlantic City/
Atlantic Cape Community College


Cumberland County College


Rowan University

Jersey City

New Jersey City University

Passaic County Community College
Penns Grove -
Carneys Point

Salem Community College

Trenton Mercer County Community College

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