GEAR UP Toolkit

Grant Writing Resources

ACT tools may be embedded effectively into GEAR UP grant applications to help schools engage students early, accelerate their readiness through supplemental programs, and expand the capacity of schools to create college-going cultures. 

GEAR UP serves approximately 707,970 students

Congress appropriated $360 million for GEAR UP in FY 2019 

Average annual funding per Partnership Grant is $1,845,540 

Develop Your GEAR UP Grant Application

GEAR UP has become extremely competitive, with less than 1 in 5 applicants funded, despite the need of many communities for support. 

Maximize GEAR UP students’ academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education with ACT Aspire®—the longitudinal assessment system that measures student progress with empirically based readiness benchmarks from grades 3 through 10.  


Assist GEAR UP students with an early measure of College and Career Readiness, while also serving as the first step toward preparing for the ACT® test. Students are tested in all four ACT subjects to receive insight on areas of academic strengths and opportunity.


Prepare GEAR UP students for postsecondary education with an assessment that simulates the ACT testing experience, predicts future success, and offers locally assigned accommodations. Students may also opt to share their information with college and scholarship agencies.



Equip GEAR UP students with a college-reportable score and opportunity for scholarship that make the college application process more attainable.  Students receive personalized college and career decision-making information to assist in establishing college performance baselines. 


By providing educators with a formalized training in a holistic understanding of the ACT test, you will advance your talent pool and improve college and career readiness of students. Educators will learn teaching strategies that advance GEAR UP students’ abilities to successfully master the core skills needed for college success.


Arm GEAR UP students with the only interactive and personalized test prep offering from ACT that provides custom learinng paths. Track students' progress as they prepare for the ACT through daily goals, tailored flashcards, an education game center, and custom dashboards.


Ensure GEAR UP students are more than college ready but career ready, too. Boost their employability with the WorkKeys® suite, a system of assessments and curriculum that build, measure, and certify essential workplace skills. In addition to working toward higher assessment scores, students may earn college credit, which has been shown by research to increase graduation rates.


Sign Up for Webinar Notifications

Complete the form to join the webinar invitation list for topics on preparing GEAR UP students for postsecondary education success.

Success Story: Guiding Students Along the Path to Success

When Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received a GEAR UP grant, the school saw it as an opportunity to help the students prepare for college and career success using a suite of ACT products and services.

GEAR UP in Your Area