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


​2020-2021​​ GEAR UP Scholarship Award Status

GEAR UP scholarship applications have been received and are being processed. Awards are made after the Pell Grant, state aid, and other public or private aid (excluding loans and work-study). We are working closely with the higher education institutions to verify student enrollment, Cost of Attendance (COA), and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the 2020-2021 academic year. We are also working collaboratively with MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) to determine the appropriate award amount.  

Please note that the award amount will vary depending on the student’s financial need; however, the student’s award will not exceed the COA. The maximum GEAR UP scholarship is $4,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

It is our mission to process and award the scholarships accurately and promptly. We will send updates, via the email provided on MCAPS, to each family once the award process is complete. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly via email at​ , as our agency is working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students. Grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school.


The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) partnered with the Maryland Higher Commission (MHEC) to submit an application for the GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education and was awarded $13.2 million in funding. MSDE was designated as the fiscal agent for the grant program in the state of Maryland. MHEC receives a sub-award from the Maryland GEAR UP grant to provide services that support GEAR UP students in participating school districts.


Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) and Other Applicable Grant Regulations; Super Circular. 2 CFR Part 200, 225, and 230 (OMB Uniform Guidance A-87).

Funded Programs

For more information on a GEAR UP supported program click on the program link listed below.