Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is The MAAX?
The MAAX is the name of a program that takes place in-school and after school for 7th, 8th and 9th graders in New Haven and Bridgeport, CT. The MAAX stands for Maximizing Adolescent Academic eXcellence. It helps students learn about college and careers, as well how to be better students.

Q: What is GEAR UP?
GEAR UP is a national program aimed at getting more students into college, especially if no one in their family has ever gone to college before. The U.S. Department of Education gave money to 47 states, including Connecticut, to start GEAR UP Programs. In Connecticut, GEAR UP programs take place in New Haven and Bridgeport. They include after school math tutorial classes, a summer program, Saturday Academies, CMT Prep classes, as well as The MAAX.

Q: What’s the difference between The MAAX and GEAR UP?
The MAAX is a part of GEAR UP.

Q: Why should I think about college now?
Even if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, you should think seriously about college now because college can be the key to the kind of life you want. A college education can take you out of a minimum-wage job and into work you enjoy and that pays well. It gives you choices. Compared to folks who don’t continue their education beyond high school, people who go to college:

  • Have a wider range of job possibilities and options
  • Develop lifelong learning skills
  • Are in a better position to help their families and communities

Even if you’re not sure what your future holds, prepare as if you’ll be going to college. What you learn will help you get the very most from life.

Q: Can I go to college if no one in my family has ever gone to college?
Yes! Even if you’re the first one to go to college in your family, you can do it! Be sure to explore this web site to find out more information that will help you on your path to college.

Q: What if my family can’t afford to pay for college?
There are scholarships and financial aid available for people who can’t afford to pay for college. Some of the aid available has to be paid back once you graduate (like student loans) and some doesn’t (like grants and scholarships). Be sure to look at our Financial Aid section for more information.

Q: What does "campus" mean?
  A campus is the grounds of a college or university.

Q: What's the difference between a college and a university?
A college is typically a four-year institution that grants bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and/or sciences. A university is typically an institution of higher learning with teaching and research facilities that not only grants bachelor's degrees, but also master's degrees and doctorates. Some universities may be made up of various schools and colleges (e.g., the School of Agriculture at the University of Connecticut; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut).

Q: What's a dorm?
"Dorm" is short for dormitory, which is a housing unit for students on a college campus.

Q: What's the difference between intramural sports and intercollegiate sports?
Intramural sports are played between students at the same school and are primarily recreational; intercollegiate are sports played between students at different schools and are much more competitive than intramural sports.

Q: What's a "semester"?
  A semester is half of an academic school year, usually consisting of about 15 weeks of time. The fall semester is typically from the end of August to mid-December. The spring semester is typically from the end of January to mid-May.

Q: What is a "major"?
A:  A major is a field of study chosen as an academic specialty. For example, you might choose to major in music, chemical engineering, biology, sociology, business, psychology or any one of many other academic majors. If you major in chemical engineering, for example, you will have to take a certain number of "general education" courses (as do students in all majors) as well as a certain number of courses about chemical engineering before you can graduate with a degree in chemical engineering.