University of Hawai'i Board of Regents approves GEAR UP Tuition Assistance Trust

Trust will help GEAR UP Hawai'i program provide approximately $1 million in tuition assistance to Hawai'i students

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-8109
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Nov 21, 2008

LĪHUʻE, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi — The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) has approved the structure of the GEAR UP Tuition Assistance Trust, which will enable the GEAR UP Hawaiʻi program to award approximately $1 million in tuition assistance to Hawaiʻi high school students beginning in 2013.

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education whose mission is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The GEAR UP Hawaiʻi program is a consortium of partners that include the University of Hawaiʻi‘s ten-campus system, State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education, and many community partners. Project services are designed to prepare students for academic success, facilitate transitions from K-12 to higher education, and increase access to information and financial aid.

In September 2005, UH received a six-year, $15.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education‘s GEAR UP program. The GEAR UP grant includes $1 million for a tuition assistance program that will provide incentives for Hawaiʻi‘s students to stay in school, study hard and enroll in college.

To be eligible, students will be required to sign up, participate in GEAR UP early intervention activities, and achieve an academic milestone, such as the Board of Education Recognition Diploma. The tuition assistance, with awards beginning in 2013, will be disbursed to eligible GEAR UP participants when they enroll in an institution of higher education. The program will be launched in Spring 2009.

This is the second trust to be established through GEAR UP grant funds. The GEAR UP Scholarship Trust, approved by the UH Board of Regents in March 2005, was established with $4.2 million from the first GEAR UP grant, a 5-year, $10.2 million grant received in September 2000. The first GEAR UP scholarships were awarded to GEAR UP Scholars graduating high school from 2006 - 2009 when they enrolled in an institution of higher education. To date, more than $1.3 million has been awarded to GEAR UP Scholars.

"The GEAR UP Scholars, who began graduating from high school in 2006, have demonstrated remarkable results. More GEAR Up Scholars earned honors diplomas and enrolled in college than public high school graduates statewide. We are pleased to establish a new college preparation program based on the same principles to provide Hawaiʻi‘s youth with an incentive to stay in school, study hard and prepare for success in postsecondary education," remarked Tammi Chun, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education, which administers the GEAR UP Hawaiʻi program.

For more information about GEAR UP Hawaii, visit

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