The Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship provides awards to students who are part of the GEAR UP Iowa state-wide cohort. Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarships are sent directly to the college/university that the student is attending and can be used to pay for tuition/fees, room/board, books/supplies, and personal/living expenses while in college. Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship FAQs (pdf)
To receive Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship funds, each student must:
- Have a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma (HiSET/GED), or home school diploma
- Be a GEAR UP Iowa Program participant, as certified by GEAR UP Iowa staff at Iowa College Aid
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as defined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Be under the age of 22 upon first receipt of Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship funds
- Enroll in at least 3 semester hours (or trimester or quarter equivalent) in a Title IV eligible undergraduate program of study* at a Title IV college/university** in Iowa or out-of-state
- Complete the FAFSA annually to apply for funding
- Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies of their college/university to receive the Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship in subsequent years
*What is a Title IV eligible undergraduate program?
A Title IV undergraduate program is one that is eligible to receive Federal Student Aid funds. You should contact the college's financial aid office and speak with a financial aid advisor to determine if the program you plan to enroll in is a Title IV program.
** What is a Title IV college/university
A Title IV college/university is one that participates in Federal Student Aid programs. You can search for Title IV institutions on the Federal Student Aid website by entering information about the college (state, city, and/or name). If your college appears in the Search Results, then it’s a Title IV college and you can receive Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship funds while you’re enrolled.
How many years can a student receive the Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship?
The Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship can be renewed in subsequent years to fund undergraduate enrollment as long as:
- funding allows
- the student is meeting their college/university Satisfactory Academic Progress policies
- the student completes a FAFSA annually
Resources for Out-of-State Schools
If you are resident of the state of Iowa, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA results will be used to identify you as a Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship applicant. Whether you are attending a college in Iowa or a college outside of Iowa, if Iowa is your legal state of residence, the FAFSA is the only required application for the Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship.
If you are a resident of a state other than Iowa, you must complete the paper Karen Misjak GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship application. Non-Iowa residents must submit a copy of the ISIR or Student Aid Report (SAR) with the paper application. This application is strictly for students whose legal residence is a state other than Iowa.
The GEAR UP Future Ready Cohort (Class of 2025) will not be eligible to receive a GEAR UP scholarship.