GEAR UP NC is a federally funded program from the U.S. Department of Education (P334S120003). The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project aims to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP NC is operated by the University of North Carolina System.
The GEAR UP NC Virtual Reality (VR) app is intended to help first-generation students gain early awareness of college options in North Carolina. It is also intended to motivate students to think of college as an option and to begin to take the necessary steps to apply to college and for financial aid.
The project began as a pilot with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Visitor Center's First Look program and has since expanded to include all 16 University of North Carolina campuses. GEAR UP NC intends to expand the project to include North Carolina Community Colleges and possibly private colleges and universities.