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By Jenalyn Slead, GEAR UP Program Assistant

Congratulations! We are finally reaching the end of the semester! As we round the corner to these last few weeks, it is important to look ahead to the upcoming semesters, and not bury our heads in the stress of finals. Here are some tips to succeed during finals week; Get good sleep! It’s better to study a little and rest a lot than to cram the night before and get barely any sleep. Be sure to eat well! It can be hard to take the time for yourself , but you’ll be focused and energized if you fuel your body. Don’t forget to relax! You got this, and once it’s over, you’ll be done till mid January! The first semester of college can be the hardest because you’re not sure what to expect, but you’ve made it through and you’re ready to take on the rest of this school year! GEAR UP and TRIO hosted a Moving on and Moving up event on November 30th to celebrate students moving on to their next semester, or graduating! Great job this semester, GEAR UP students, and happy holidays!

  • “Make sure you get enough sleep!” -Lola G. MSU Junior

  • “Go to class reviews! They are so helpful in reminding you what you need to study.” -Rylie M. MSU Junior

  • “Don’t focus too much on your grades, it’ll only stress you out more.” -Evan A. MSU Sophomore

Reminder to Return Borrowed Textbooks!

All textbooks borrowed from GEAR UP are due back by Thursday, December 14th. Drop by the GEAR UP office with your textbooks to return them. The GEAR UP office is located on the 2nd floor of the MSU Library and is open weekdays from 8-5.



2024-2025 FAFSA

Recent updates to create a more streamlined and easier completion of the FAFSA application process have resulted in a delay in the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Typically, GEAR UP hosts workshops in October every year to help GEAR UP students complete their FAFSA for the next academic year. Stay tuned for upcoming workshops in January 2024 for assistance in completing your FAFSA for 2024-2025. In the meantime, see for updates and information.


Meet a GEAR UP Student

Vydel Ramos

Vydel Ramos is an MSU freshman from Lodge Grass, MT. He is currently studying Computer Engineering. In his free time, Vydel likes to take evening walks around Bozeman, and has recently taken up learning guitar. GEAR UP MSU has been helpful to Vydel by providing school supplies and books, while also being a place for him to come talk and have a little snack. Vydel takes inspiration from Chance Cummings, also known by Vydel as “Sway Swan”, who is the program coordinator for Native American Studies. Chance is inspirational to Vydel because he is always there for him and is very helpful.

Vydel Ramos

Vydel Ramos, Lodge Grass, MT

Paws to Destress

Paws to Destress

Monday, December 6th from 9-11, and Wednesday, December 8th from 4-6

Each semester, MSU Library partners with Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) to present Paws to De-Stress. The event features ITA volunteers and their pets and offers students a chance to relax and relieve stress by visiting with the animals. The event takes place in the southwest corner of the first floor of MSU Library. Just follow the paw prints.

Lights on Montana Hall

Lights on Montana Hall

Wednesday, December 6th, 5:30 pm

Montana State University invites the campus community and the public to celebrate the annual lighting of Montana Hall at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, on the south side of the building at the Malone Centennial Mall Plaza. Holiday treats and drinks will be provided.


2023 Fall Commencement

Friday, December 15th at 9:00 am

On Friday, December 15th, Montana State University will hold commencement for students graduating this fall. GEAR UP MSU wishes all graduates the best and wishes you a bright and happy future after college. For more information about commencement, visit

Spring Semester

Spring Semester 2024

Wednesday, January 17th

The Fall 2023 semester officially ends on Thursday, December 14th. Enjoy your holiday break and we'll see you back for the beginning of Spring semester on Wednesday, January 17, 2024!


GEAR UP and TRIO joined the National First- Generation College Student Celebration with Snacks on the Mall on November 7th to raise awareness of first generation college students.

Student Panel

Later the same day, first-generation students at MSU shared insights and perspectives during a student panel.

Jenalyn and Dogs

GEAR UP Office Assistant, Jenalyn Slead, visited the Intermountain Therapy dogs at the Renne Library during Paws to Destress.