Setting Your Student Up for Success
Parents work hard to prepare their children for life. Part of this preparation is making sure that your child has the education needed for his or her future career. Another part is helping your child learn how to make responsible decisions. College is important because it can help with both of these aspects of preparation. GEAR UP is designed to support you as you help your child get ready for college.
Plan Early, Plan Now
It's never too early for you and your child to start planning for college. Thinking now about classes to take, college tuition and other costs, study habits, career interests, and lifestyle preferences will make the research and decision stages of college planning much easier. GEAR UP currently offers workshops for parents on college preparation in all GEAR UP Iowa communities. When GEAR UP students are in high school, financial aid, standardized tests, and other topics will be covered during parent workshops. See the Calendar for upcoming workshops.
Admission to Iowa's Regent Universities: the Regent Admission Index
Students from Iowa high schools who began their studies in fall of 2009 or later must have a Regent Admission Index score of at least 245 and take the minimum number of required high school courses to qualify for automatic admission to Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at The University of Iowa. Students who achieve a score less than 245 will be considered for admission on an individual basis.
The index combines four factors that strongly predict success at regent universities: ACT or SAT test score, high school rank, high school cumulative grade-point average, and the number of completed high school core courses.
To calculate your unofficial Regent Admission Index score, visit the Board of Regents website located at http://www.regents.iowa.gov/RAI/index.html. Additional information regarding the Regent Admissions Index is available HERE.
The GEAR UP team encourages you to think of college as an investment rather than as a cost. You're not draining your savings; rather, you're putting your resources into a valuable investment -- your child's learning and future. In addition, many forms of financial aid exist to help you and your child make this investment. To get started, here are some things you and your child can do:
- Start saving money now.
- Decide how you want to invest your savings (e.g., the College Savings Iowa Program, U.S. Savings Bonds, savings account or certificates of deposit at a bank, or mutual funds).
- Investigate financial aid from federal, state, local, and private sources. Click HERE for some helpful links.
- Look into scholarships related to your job or your child's status. (Corporations, labor unions, professional associations, credit unions, and religions organizatiosn often provide scholarships for members or children of their members; other scholarships exist for women, minorities, and disabled students.)