GEAR UP is no longer run by the Philadelphia Education Fund.If you would like more information about the GEAR UP initiative, see the School District page.

The Philadelphia GEAR UP Network was a federally funded partnership between the Philadelphia Education Fund and the School District of Philadelphia. GEAR UP's goal was to ensure that students have the resources and knowledge they need to access and succeed in college.

Core Components

The purpose of GEAR UP was to create a college-going culture beginning in the middle grades and continuing to Philadelphia's comprehensive high schools. The goal was to increase the number of students accepted to college without the need for remediation.

Historically in many urban schools, college preparation begins in high school with a selected group of students. This grant provided opportunity for schools, families, and community-based organizations to collaborate in creating the expectation for students to attend college and preparing them accordingly.

This was accomplished by:

  • Enhancing Academic Supports and providing an array of tutorial supports in and out of school
  • Enhancing Academic Awareness by providing students with experiences on college campuses and other college/career awareness interventions
  • Increasing the number of students taking SAT/PSAT
  • Increasing the number of students submitting at least one college application
  • Enhancing family and community involvement
  • Developing home/school relationships, which support academic achievement and college awareness
  • Increasing the ability and desire of families to participate in the college admission and financial aid process

Program Highlights

Between 1999–2005 the GEAR UP program:

  • Served 17,000 students in the Philadelphia School District grades 6–12
  • Increased the number of 10th grade students taking PSAT by 500%
  • Provided 95% of all 12th grade students in GEAR UP schools with in-class information on Financial Aid
  • Took 49% of all 10th graders on college trips with preparation and post follow-up
  • Retained 95% of teachers within the Ed Fund's Adjunct Coach program for one year in the supported schools