Publications and advice for families preparing for college.

GEAR UP Resources

Below are a collection of publications and advice for families preparing for college.

  • College Greenlight

    College Greenlight helps students explore colleges and find the perfect fit. It also connects first-generation and underrepresented students with scholarships and personalized advice.

  • College Savings Iowa

    College Savings Iowa is Iowa’s state-administered 529 plan. It allows parents, grandparents, relatives and friends to contribute toward the education expenses of young people regardless of income or state of residence. This plan is among the most highly regarded 529 plans in the country and an account can be opened for as little as $25.

  • Publications

    Publications to assist with preparing for college are available at no cost through Iowa College Aid, including:

    • Your Course to College comprehensive college planning guide
    • How to Apply for Financial Aid
    • Scholarships and Grants
    • Student Loans
    • Planning for Our Future
  • ICAN

    The Iowa College Access Network offers a variety of downloads to assist with college and career planning, including such topics as:

    • Freshman Transition
    • High School Success
    • Career Planning
    • College Planning
    • College Success
    • Financial Aid
    • Financial Literacy
  • Federal Student Aid

    The Federal Student Aid office, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, provides grants, loans and work study funds for college or career school. In addition, it provides useful resources and information about getting ready for college, career and school exploration, types of financial aid and the application process. The website also provides checklists from elementary school thorough high school with suggested steps to prepare students academically and financially for college or career school.

  • FAFSA4caster

    Estimate how much money your student will get on federal financial aid with this online tool.

  • Big Future by the College Board

    A planning tool to help students and families create a personalized college plan, find colleges, explore careers and related majors and learn about financial aid.