Washington State University GEAR UP

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
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Applying to College, Financial Aid, and Student Success

Complete listing from the Northwest Commission on College and Universities
The office of Federal Student Aid provides publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources to help you prepare and pay for college or career school.
Ready Set Grad is a program to help ensure every student in Washington State has access to the tools, information, and support they need to graduate high school and make college accessible and affordable.
The office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans, and work-study funds for college or career school.
More than 600 independent colleges accept the Common Application
WashBoard.org, a free, web-based scholarship matching clearinghouse for Washington residents and students.
A Professor's Pointers for Success in College: 21 Easy-to-Follow Tips
Scholarships for 1st year of college and beyond (current college students.)

Game of Life: College Edition PosterIn December GEAR UP at Southridge hosted a fun Parent Night! We decided to do a spin on the Game of Life and help our students experience the college admission process and what college is like. We based our game on the Game of Life with an expanded college section. Students and parents loved it!

It started with students filling out a simplified college application with their GPA, PSAT scores, & extracurriculars. We gave students a choice of colleges they could apply to. We had 8 college options- with their different requirements and stats. Students could apply to as many as they wanted. Then they were admitted or not based on their GPA & PSAT scores.

Game of Life: College Edition Photo CollageStudents also had a chance to draw scholarships from the Scholarship Bowl to pay for college. The number of draws was based on the student’s extracurricular activities and the roll of a dice. Students could also draw cards that said they were not selected to win the scholarship. This allowed for some randomness to simulate the chance of winning scholarships.

Students then received a financial aid award based on the school’s average financial aid awards and the student need level. The students then had decided where they were going to go to college.

Then the college part of the game began! The college section had squares modeled after the life game squares for students to move along. The squares said things like “attend freshman orientation take 2 stars” or “skipped class move back one.” We worked to include all the positive and negative experiences students can go through in college. We included study abroad opportunities, failing tests, acing finals, making friends, researching papers, getting a parking ticket, making the dean’s list and changing your major. Students earned stars for each positive experience and had to move back for each negative experience. Students had to stop and pay for tuition every year, by taking out loans, unless they had scholarship(s) that covered the cost.

When students got to graduation, they took a picture with a cap and gown. They then got to job search and depending on their major, they had to wait a certain amount of time to get a job. Then they drew a salary card from either the Low or High Salary Card Bowl, again depending on their major.

Students really enjoyed the Game of Life: College Edition! Although next time we decided that we’ll cap the number of times students have to change their major (which causes them to return to start.)



State Financial Aid for DREAMers

A new state law has expanded eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to low income, non-citizen students who meet the program's eligibility requirements and also satisfy the residency criteria. Washington State joined California, New Mexico, and Texas in enacting its own version of the Dream Act which extends state grants to undocumented students.

Visit realhopewa.org for more information.
The free Washington Application for State Financial Aid, or WASFA.

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