HESC HESC.ny.gov


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a national initiative to create innovative programs that assist low-income students in preparing to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) through NY GEAR UP partnered with 11 colleges and universities and 59 middle and high schools, to maximize college access for economically disadvantaged and academically at-risk students in grades seven through twelve. By providing academic and personal support services for these students this educational opportunity project provided the necessary skills to help these students achieve their dream of going to college.

HESC was designated as New York's lead administering agency for the 2006-11 GEAR UP award, administering $21 million in grants to programs designed by middle school and postsecondary partnerships. In 2011, NY GEAR UP served over 7,000 students, many having completed their senior year and having entered college.

Most recently, in the fall of 2011 the U.S. Department of Education approved HESC’s request for a one year extension to New York State’s GEAR UP award. The extension has allowed for NY GEAR UP, its state partners and sub-grantees to focus on achieving the fundamental goals of NY GEAR UP by improving the academic performance of participating students, increasing the educational expectations of students and their parents, improving student and family knowledge regarding postsecondary education preparation and financing, and working to ensure graduation from high school and enrollment in college.

NYGEAR UP - - 2005 to Present

State Partners

  • Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC)
  • The College Board
  • Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU)
  • New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA)
  • State University of New York (SUNY)
  • City University of New York (CUNY)

Local Project Sites (2005 to 2011)

  • Syracuse University
  • State University of New York at Cobleskill
  • City University of New York at Brooklyn
  • St. John's University
  • Long Island University in Brooklyn
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Jamestown Community College
  • Participating Public School Districts: Albany; Yonkers; New Rochelle; and Rome

Local Project Sites Participating in the Extension Year: Albany; Jamestown; Rochester; Yonkers; LIU; St. Johns; and Rome.