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Vermont State GEAR UP serves 2,500 middle and high school students at 38 schools across the state, plus 300 first-year college students annually through GEAR UP’s GUIDE program (Giving Undergraduates Important Direction in their Education). VSAC has been the host to GEAR UP since 1999 when GEAR UP was established.

 VSAC GEAR UP Outreach counselors provide individual, small group, and whole grade meetings in support of students’ college and career goals. Students have the opportunity to participate in field trips, homework clubs, college and career fairs, tutoring, and other activities that support academic enrichment and college and career readiness. As a school improvement grant, GEAR UP provides funds to its partner schools to provide initiatives for students, families, and faculty/staff in support of the continued development of a strong college and career-ready school culture, academic rigor, and postsecondary education and career planning. GEAR UP serves students who are eligible for the Free Lunch program, are first-generation college going, are in foster care, are English language learners, are homeless, or who have an incarcerated parent. GEAR UP strives to increase students’ academic rigor, high school graduation rates, postsecondary education enrollment and persistence rates for all GEAR UP students as well as for their schools as a whole.