GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded program that will help the current 8th graders in two of Meriden’s public middle schools (Washington and Lincoln) get ready for college. The services, which are free to participants, focus mainly on academic success and college readiness and exposure, and are provided to current 8th graders all the way through their first year in college.

  • diplomaFREE college and career readiness at your school for students AND parents
  • books

    Helps you start thinking about and preparing for college or post high school plans NOW

  • school

    Supports you all the way through high school and into your first year of college!

See Video Transcript here
(Ver el video en español aqui)

GEAR UP’s Main Objectives Are:

  • Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students
  • Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of participating students
  • Increase educational expectations for participating students and increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation, and financing.

How GEAR UP Helps You Prepare:

  • Academic Preparation
  • Tutoring and Academic Support
  • SAT Preparation
  • Summer and After-School Activities
  • Career Exploration and Preparation
  • Exposure and Enrichment
  • Field Trips, College Visits
  • College Application and Financial Aid Assistance
  • Financial Education
  • Scholarships
  • And More!

Why Should You Participate in GEAR UP?

  • GEAR UP participants have higher high school graduation and college enrollment rates
  • College-going culture
  • The earlier you start, the better!

Learn more:

Contact Us:

To speak with someone about the MxCC-Meriden Public Schools GEAR UP partnership, please email

Celebrating school success

Upcoming Events

COMING UP: GEAR UP Summer Program Registration

This August, GEAR UP will be offering a week-long summer program for students that will focus on transitioning to ninth grade and building skills for high school and beyond. Look out for registration information later this month.


Join Our Team

Open Positions:

  • GEAR UP Coordinator
  • GEAR UP Tutor
See Job Listings

College Misconceptions

(Ver el video en español aqui)

Message to GEAR UP Families

Dear Grade 8 Families:

We are happy to inform you of a wonderful opportunity for your student. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded grant from the US Department of Education awarded to Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU), which has partnered with Middlesex Community College and Meriden Public Schools to provide grant services. GEAR UP aims to support student success and promote college and career readiness and the main goals, among others, are to increase the number of students who graduate high school and enroll in college. All current Grade 8 students at Lincoln and Washington middle schools are eligible to receive GEAR UP services for FREE. In addition, GEAR UP services will move with the 8th graders all the way through high school and their first year of college.

GEAR UP has so much to offer your student in terms of academic success and college readiness. Some of the programs you can anticipate this year, or perhaps have already seen, include:

  • Summer enrichment programming (GEAR UP Summer STEM Career Camp)
  • PSAT Test Bootcamp with MasteryPrep
  • Tutoring/Academic Support
  • Math Support and Enrichment
  • STEM Enrichment and Exposure
  • Mentoring
  • College Knowledge Workshops/College Advising
  • Information about financial aid for college
  • GEAR UP has also funded the ALEKS assessment used in math classes, and will be providing various supplies to students, such as Virtual Survival Kits, Science/STEM Kits, and online graphing calculators!

In future years, as students move through high school, other services will include college visits, intensive support and advising with college and financial aid applications, a GEAR UP scholarship opportunity, information about affording college, and more!

Below you can find more information on GEAR UP  to see what’s coming up! Watch this space for more info coming up, and we can’t wait to work with both you and your student to help them succeed in high school and beyond!

All the best,

GEAR UP Meriden Team

GEAR UP is a collaboration with:

Meriden Public Schools logo

US Department of Education

The CT State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) has been awarded a $25.8 million Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant by the United States Department of Education (USDOE). CSCU has partnered with Middlesex Community College (MxCC), which will work in partnership with Meriden Public Schools to provide grant services.