Prairie Jr/Sr High - January, 2014

GEAR UP: What is it?

I know I've explained GEAR UP in previous newsletters, but some parents may be receiving a GEAR UP newsletter for the first time, so bear with me!

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Prairie is participating in their second GEAR UP grant. This grant started two years ago and benefits this year’s 8th and 9th graders. The grant will follow this particular group of students through high school graduation.

As a part of the grant structure, money is being set aside for renewable scholarships for the students who participate in GEAR UP Idaho 2 and attend an Idaho college after high school graduation.

Freshmen on the WSU campus!

What Does College Cost in Idaho?

The cost of sending your child to college can seem overwhelming. College can be expensive, but knowing the facts can help you prepare. And, keep in mind, that most students only pay about 60% of the advertised price after scholarships and aid.

8th Graders and Explore

The 8th graders completed the ACT Explore this week. This assessment will help the staff, students and parents confirm that students are on track for high school and beyond. The results will also utilize an interest assessment to direct the students in possible careers to consider.

This assessment is fully funded by GEAR UP. The website can provide more information about Explore.

We will mail the Explore results to the address we have on file when we receive them. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

8th Grade tour of University of Idaho

Financial Aid 101

Financial aid is money that can help you pay for college. Some aid needs to be paid back or earned, and some aid is a gift. This money is available to all kinds of people. Here are a few things you should know about financial aid.

1. Financial aid can help you go to college

Getting financial aid can make it possible for you to go to college. Or it might enable you to attend a college you thought you couldn’t afford.

2. More than $185 billion in aid is available

There are four main sources of financial aid:

  • Federal government (the largest source)
  • State governments
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private organizations

3. You have to apply to qualify for aid

One thing is for sure: If you don’t fill out financial aid forms, you won’t get any aid. Even if you think you may not qualify, you should still submit the forms.

4. There are four main types of aid

These types of aid are available with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid):

  • Grants and scholarships: money you don’t have to pay back
  • Work-study jobs: paid, part-time work that’s generally on campus
  • Loans: money you need to pay back, usually after you graduate

It's not time yet to worry about the FAFSA for the GEAR UP kids. You won't have to complete this online form until their Senior year, but it's good to know what to expect.

Local GEAR UP Contact

My name is Loretta Poxleitner and I have been working with GEAR UP for two years as the local site coordinator. It's my job to help the GEAR UP kids at Prairie to become better prepared for life after high school. I've really enjoyed working with your kids as they learn about college and career readiness and I look forward to continuing on this journey with them through graduation from high school.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions to improve the GEAR UP program.