Colorado GEAR UP is accepting new 9th grade students! Click “New Student” to learn how to apply!

The Colorado GEAR UP Program
GEAR UP is a national, federally funded pre-collegiate grant program that is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

In 2018, Colorado GEAR UP was awarded a 4th seven-year grant cycle (2018-2025), receiving $35 million from the US Department of Education to continue to provide student services in some of Colorado’s under-resourced communities. The project is targeting 5000 students in fifteen high schools across the state. Colorado GEAR UP utilizes the priority model to serve students beginning in the ninth grade through the first year of college.

Colorado GEAR UP Program services include one-on-one mentoring and advising, a college preparatory curriculum including financial literacy and financial aid, STEM programming, concurrent enrollment opportunities, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), rigorous coursework, tutoring, college visits, summer programs, individualized assistance with the college admission process, college transition programming, a Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship and intrusive advising and wrap-around support services for college students.

Previous Colorado GEAR UP Grants
GEAR UP I - 1999-2005
GEAR UP II - 2005-2011 (plus one-year extension period)
GEAR UP III - 2011-2018 (plus eight-month extension period)

Leadership Team
Carl Einhaus, Project Director
Program Director, Christina Ingrum
Director of College Pathways & Communications, Meghan Cave
Director of Budget & Grant Compliance, Kelly Zhang
Application Developer, Alexander Creighton
Application Developer, James Anderegg
Controller, Trisha Esquibel
Fiscal Coordinator, Vacant
Human Resource Director, Cindy Langan

Pre-Collegiate Advisors

Duane Akerfelds
Jefferson High School
Cristina Antillon
North High School
Ana Arreola
North High School
Katie Carroll
Rocky Ford Senior High School
Latasha Collins
Hinkley High School
Brenda Figueroa
Pueblo East High School
Cinthia Galaviz
Fort Lupton High School
Liz Garcia
Mitchell High School
Yolanda Garduno
Pueblo East High School
Denise Gondrez
Pueblo Central High School
Amanda Hildebrandt
Adams City High School
Austin Routt
Delta High School
Jasmine Lopez
Pueblo Central High School
Janell Martin
Harrison High School
Monica Moore
Gateway High School
Adrien Olalde
Adams City High School
Cecilia Pineda
Hinkley High School
Tiffany Riegert
Mitchell High School
Tai Rogers
Montezuma-Cortez High School
Shaunna Schrock
La Junta Senior High School
Heidi Stone
Gateway High School
Daniella Trujillo
Harrison High School
Desarie Wheeler
Arvada High School

College Advisor Liasions

Dan Garcia

Our High School Partners
  • Adams 14 School District
    Adams City High School

  • Aurora Public Schools
    Gateway High School and Hinkley High School

  • Denver Public Schools
    North High School

  • East Otero School District
    La Junta Senior High School

  • Jeffco Public Schools
    Arvada High School & Jefferson Jr/Sr

  • Pueblo School District 60
    Central High School & East High School

  • Delta County School District
    Delta High School

  • Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1
    Montezuma-Cortez High School

  • Harrison School District Two
    Harrison High School

  • Colorado Springs School District 11
    Mitchell High School

  • Rocky Ford School District
    Rocky Ford Jr/Sr

  • Weld Re-8 School District
    Fort Lupton High School


Business and Community Partners
  • Colorado Petroleum Council
  • Junior Achievement
  • National Hispanic Instiute
  • The College Place
  • Signal Vine
  • Alice's Kids

Program Results

Colorado GEAR UP has served thousands of students in both urban and rural communities since 1999. Colorado GEAR UP focuses on strategies that prepare students for postsecondary with an emphasis on cost savings through early college credit initiatives such as concurrent enrollment and CLEP. In 2018, Colorado GEAR UP closed its the 3rd grant cycle with outstanding results.

Concurrent Enrollment – Colorado GEAR UP students enrolled in nearly 6000 courses earning more than 20,000 college credits. Their yearly pass rate ranged from 93%-98%.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) – The large majority of Colorado GEAR UP students who took a CLEP exam earned three or more college credits.

Graduation Rates
  • GEAR UP Class of 2016 96% Graduation rate, statewide rate 79%
  • GEAR UP Class of 2017 96% Graduation rate, statewide rate 79%
  • GEAR UP Class of 2018 98% Graduation rate
FAFSA Completion Rates
  • GEAR UP Class of 2016 96% FAFSA completion, statewide rate 48%
  • GEAR UP Class of 2017 82% FAFSA completion rate, statewide rate 50%
  • GEAR UP Class of 2018 94% FAFSA completion, statewide rate 48%
College-Going Rates
  • GEAR UP Class of 2016 77% College-Going rate
  • GEAR UP Class of 2017 78% College-Going rate
  • GEAR UP Class of 2018 77% College-Going rate
*The college-going rates do not reflect students who joined the military, enrolled in an apprenticeship program or late enrollments.


Alumni Spotlight

Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship

The scholarship information provided on this page applies to graduating classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Colorado GEAR UP has been awarding scholarships to students since 2004. Colorado GEAR UP students are enrolled in over 200 colleges and universities across the country. To date, the Colorado GEAR UP III project has awarded nearly 11 million dollars. Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship awards will continue to be disbursed to eligible students in the college pipeline.
Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship Eligibility
  • ✔   Students must have completed the Colorado GEAR UP program in high school
  • ✔   Have a high school diploma or GED
  • ✔   Be under 23 years old at the time of the first scholarship disbursement
  • ✔   Attend a Title IV, Pell-eligible institution of higher education
  • ✔   Complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)
  • ✔   Have a complete financial aid file with the college
Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship Award
The Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship award amount varies for each grant cycle.
Out for Funds?
Colorado GEAR UP students who have graduated in 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 and who have exceeded scholarship funds may be eligible for additional funds. Contact Meghan Cave, Scholarship Director for more information:
Questions About the Colorado GEAR UP Scholarship?
See our FAQ here:   

or Contact Meghan Cave - Scholarship Director:

Become a GEAR UP Scholar