Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q: Why should I think about my child’s college education now?
A: A college education can take your child out of a minimum-wage job and into good-paying work they enjoy. It gives them choices. Compared to people 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 child’s future holds, help your child prepare as if they’ll be going to college. What they learn will help them get the very most from life.

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

Q: What if we can’t afford to pay for college?
A: 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.