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By Anthony Hernandez, GEAR UP First Year Student

Hello fellow Bobcats, like many of you, I came to MSU from a small community, and I was initially nervous about attending a large university. However, I discovered the many resources available to me through GEAR UP MSU, which has been instrumental in helping me succeed as a first-year student. GEAR UP provided me with textbooks for my classes, free tutoring, and school supplies. With these resources, I was able to set myself up for success. Beyond GEAR UP, I've attended ASMSU events, gone to football games, joined student clubs, and found work on campus. These experiences allowed me to connect with other Bobcats and helped me feel more at home at MSU. As you continue your college journey, I encourage you to take advantage of the resources available from MSU. Don't be afraid to try new things, get involved, and seek out support. Whether it's through GEAR UP, student clubs, or other organizations, there are many ways to make the most of your college experience and set yourself up for success.

  • "Take it one step at a time; no matter how big or small that may be, it is a step in the right direction." -Bella M. MSU First Year Student

  • "The way I think about finals, is that school's gonna be over in a few weeks no matter what. So keep thinking about how exciting that is and manage to avoid getting too stressed about tests!" -Drake P. MSU Third Year Student

  • "Make sure you take time for yourself to rest and recharge." -Madi H MSU Third Year student

Time to Return Textbooks!

As the semester comes to a close, please remember to return the textbooks you borrowed through the GEAR UP Book Borrowing Program. At the beginning of each semester, GEAR UP first-year students can request the books they need for each class. It is our pleasure to provide students with this program to help ease the financial stress that college textbooks cost. At the end of the semester we ask that all books be returned to GEAR UP so that we may continue to provide this service to future students. All books borrowed for this current semester must be returned to GEAR UP by 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 11th. Next year's freshmen: the book borrowing request will open in August. See more details at:


Residence Hall Move-Out

In addition to finals and wrapping up the semester, it is time for students in the residence halls to move out. It can be a stressful time, so here are some important things to remember:

  • All students must be out of their rooms by noon on Saturday, May 13th.
  • To check-out correctly, you must have your RA check your room with you for anything left behind and for potential damages.
  • See your RA for a move-out time.
  • Be sure to plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of boxes!

Good luck Bobcats and we’ll see you in the fall!

Meet a GEAR UP Student

Arista Munsel

Arista is a freshman from Libby, Montana, arriving at MSU in the fall of 2022 and currently majoring in University Studies. Arista was inspired to attend college by her desire to find a good job and to follow through on her determination to earn a college degree like she said she would. While in high school, Arista participated in tennis and cheerleading, and was part of Logger Leadership, partaking in community service including highway cleanup, assembly planning, and painting the Libby “L” on the hillside. In high school, GEAR UP helped Arista visit colleges and prepare for application season. Now at MSU, Arista enjoys attending information booths and events on the Mall outside of Montana Hall. Thank you for being an excellent example of a GEAR UP student Arista!

Arista and Family

Arista Munsel, Libby, MT

Moving on and Moving Up

Moving On & Moving Up Celebration

Tuesday, May 2nd, 5-7 pm

Join TRIO SSS and GEAR UP for the end of semester "Moving On & Moving Up" Celebration from 5-7 pm in SUB 233/235. This event celebrates the end of spring semester and the moving on to next academic year. There is also a special recognition of those graduating from MSU. Dinner will be provided and guests are welcome! Please RSVP in CatsConnect.


Spring Semester Finals Week

Beginning Monday, May 8th

Spring Semester 2023 will conclude with Finals week beginning Monday May 8th. We encourage students to be prepared and to visit the GEAR UP office with any questions or concerns headed into the last week of the school year. The schedule for finals week can be found at

Summer Session

Summer Session

Beginning Monday, May 15th

MSU's Summer Session offers a variety of opportunities for students to advance or complete course requirements. Choose from Bobcat 4x4, 6-week courses, or 12- week courses. More information can be found at GEAR UP MSU will be available all summer for support and services!

Piggy bank

Paying For School Clinics

Friday, May 19th, and Wednesday, May 24th, Virtual

The Office of Financial Education is putting on clinics for incoming freshmen and families to help students learn how to budget for each semester, complete financial aid documents, manage refunds, discuss financial challenges, find scholarship opportunities and confirm student bills. If you are interested in attending, RSVP on CatsConnect!

Thank You And Farewell

To those who do not know me, my name is Brent Lloyd, I am a student at MSU graduating this spring with a Masters in Public Administration, and for the last two years, I have had the privilege of being the Graduate Assistant for the GEAR UP Program at Montana State. It has truly been one of my greatest pleasures to have been a part of GEAR UP as this program has grown and developed. The experiences I have gained from my time here I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and I am truly grateful for all of the students I have met and been able to assist since I have taken this position. I look forward to taking the lessons I have learned and applying them to my future endeavors as I begin the next stage in my life. I also have to give many thanks to those who have supported and guided in me during my time here. I am grateful for the support of the partnering office around the MSU campus, from admissions to the registrar's office and more, without your support I could not help my GEAR UP students to the best of my ability.

I am also grateful to my co-workers and friends in the TRIO SSS office, Julian, Meredith and Mackenzie for embracing GEAR UP and out students, and for always being welcoming and supportive. But I am most grateful to my supervisor Judi Haskins, who has been supported, encouraged, and guided me from even before my time with GEAR UP. I will be forever grateful for her help and advice. Although I am sad to be leaving GEAR UP, I will always fondly remember the experiences I have had here, and look forward to seeing this program grow into the future. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic two years.


Harlem StudentsHarlem Students

On April 14th, students from Harlem High School met with GEAR UP during a campus visit.

Week Of Belonging

On April 10th, GEAR UP and TRIO had an information booth during MSU's "Day of Student Belonging"; to share support and services provided by both programs.

Superior High School Students

On April 26th, GEAR UP juniors from Superior High School visited Montana State to explore the campus and opportunities our school has to offer!