MSU's GEAR UP program is dedicated to providing support and services to first-year students from Montana's GEAR UP schools.

Map of Montana's GEAR UP High Schools

What is GEAR UP?

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a grant-funded program from the U.S. Department of Education which aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

GEAR UP MSU serves students from the following schools in Montana:

  1. Arlee Public Schools
  2. Box Elder Public Schools
  3. Browning High School
  4. Hardin High School
  5. Harlem Public Schools
  6. Hays Lodge Pole Public Schools
  7. Heart Butte Public Schools
  8. Lame Deer Public Schools
  9. Libby Public Schools
  10. Lodge Grass Public Schools
  11. Pryor Public Schools
  12. Rocky Boy Public Schools
  13. St. Ignatius Public Schools
  14. St. Regis Public Schools
  15. Superior Public Schools
  16. Thompson Falls Public Schools
  17. Troy Public Schools

What is the purpose of GEAR UP at MSU?

GEAR UP has three main objectives:

  1. To academically prepare students for college.
  2. To increase high school graduation levels and college enrollment.
  3. To increase parents' and students' knowledge of post-secondary options, including affordability. 

Going to college

Montana GEAR UP believes that postsecondary education is possible for all Montana students, regardless of economic background.  GEAR UP supports schools, students, and their families to increase students' college and career readiness through academic preparedness, postsecondary planning, and financial aid knowledge so that they may succeed in their education beyond high school. 

Montana GEAR UP is managed by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education in Helena.


image for Admissions

The Office of Admissions provides information and programs to prospective students, coordinates visit opportunities, processes undergraduate applications and transfer credit evaluation, and new student orientation. 

Academic Advising

Put Image Description Here

Academic advising at MSU serves as a student's guide to encourage personal development and lifelong learning. Advisors share information about curricula, resources, and engagement opportunties.   

Orientation & Class Registration

image for orientation

Orientation is required for all new, incoming students and is designed to provide academic advising, introduce students to their degree requirements, aid students in course registration, and prepare them to join the Bobcat family. 

Residence Life

image for Res Life

The Office of Residence Life operates under the philosophy that residence halls are much different than "dorms".  In the residence halls students will meet lifelong friends, and be in the center of campus life. 

American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success

image for AIS

Resources and academic support services for Native Students includes advocacy, networking, academic advising, use of the support center's computers, printing, copying, phone, and more. 

Gallatin College

GC pic

Gallatin College MSU is Southwest Montana's two-year college, offering associate degrees and one-year professional certificates.

TRiO Student Support Services

image for TRiO

The TRIO Student Support Services program at MSU is committed to increasing the rates of academic achievement, retention, and graduation among historically underrepresented students. 

Caring for Our Own Program     (CO-OP)

The Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) is a supplemental student support program for Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing their nursing degree at MSU. 

Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success

image for AYCSS

The AYCSS supports students through personalized advising, tutoring, and coaching.