COVID-19 Update

GEAR UP is continuing to serve students by video chat (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc.) or by phone call, whichever each student prefers. To meet with GEAR UP, please email Melissa Rach to set up a meeting time at 

Melissa from GEAR UP is here to help you with whatever you need help with right now, or even to just check in and say hi! She is available to you via Zoom Monday – Friday from 2 – 3 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time). There is no registration required - just show up!


What is GEAR UP?

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive federally funded grant program by the U.S. Department of Education to provide six- and seven-year grants to education/community partnerships and states to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. 

Our Program

The Hennepin Technical College (HTC) GEAR UP program is a partnership grant program with the college.  GEAR UP serves the 2018 graduate classes of both Fridley and Robbinsdale Cooper high schools. The program was awarded a $3.13 million dollar grant to serve seven yars beginning in 2012.  We are currently in an extension of the grant which will finish on July 22, 2020.

Goals and objectives

  • Increase students’ academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education.
  • Increase students’ high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rate.
  • Increase students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.


  • Provides academic grant funding/scholarship (when available).
  • Provides assistance with FAFSA completion, reading/understanding financial aid award letters, as well as Financial Aid Verification.
  • Provides one-on-one student advising for students currently enrolled in a college or university.
  • Provides assistance with college enrollment or re-enrollment.
  • Provides scholarship, internship, as well as, job search guidance.


Contact Us


Melissa Rach, Director


Jodi Lunde, Data Analyst