GearUp and FAFSA – 101


As a high school student, the term “college” is hanging heavy over your head in neon flashing lights. Yet, those lights start flashing brighter and faster once you’ve become a senior. One year to go and then you’re off to bigger and better things, such as college. It must be a stressful experience, right? For example, choosing a college, the costs, and the changes you’ll go through. It all just adds to the stressful hypothetical lights flickering above you. Not to worry though, GearUp and FAFSA have got your back.

GearUp provides funding toward college prep and college awareness for middle and high school students. Their goal is to increase college success rates and to help you on your journey into the collegiate world. GearUp is for seniors only, and enlightens them on what’s in store for them. GearUp members visit colleges and explore what could be their future alumni. The purpose of GearUp is to bring an overall understanding of the college environment to students who will soon be indulging in the college experience.

FAFSA is a federal grant that helps students pay for college. FASFA stands for free application for financial student aid. It is a nationwide program, so if you are a student who plans on going out of state for college, FAFSA still applies to your situation.

Normally, it is usually the seniors who focus on the wonders that GearUp and FAFSA can do, but juniors need to be on the lookout, too. When this year’s juniors are finally seniors, FAFSA is making a change. Starting next year, students can start applying earlier. In fact, months earlier. The official date is October 1st for students to start applying, instead of January 1st. It is a major head start for those seniors who are looking into colleges and applying for scholarships and financial aid.

Hopefully, GearUp and FAFSA make those distracting neon lights hanging above your head a little more dim, and your college experience easier.