Student Resources:

OUSD students and parents tour UCLA
during a GEAR UP college tour

What is GEAR UP and what does it mean to you? We are creating a culture of students that say "I want to go to college and here's how I'm going to do it..."

California has TONS of colleges to choose from! If you don't believe us, just visit the State of California website where you can view and contact any one of them on one easy-to-read map! If we've got that many in our state, just imagine how many there are across the country!

What's your dream? Is it to be a doctor? Is it to be an author? Do you want to be an artist, engineer, lawyer, teacher or even our next president? Don't let anyone ever tell you that your dream is impossible. If you take it step by step, you can achieve ANYTHING!


GEAR UP is made possible through collaboration between MiraCosta College in Oceanside and Oceanside Unified School District. They work together to make sure your path to postsecondary education is easy and fast!

Some students from MiraCosta College got together and created an interactive website to inspire you, to entertain you and to show you what cool things you can do by attending a community college like MiraCosta.

Click on the "play" button to visit their website.

College Awareness:

University of California This is the main hub site of the University of California school system. Here, you can find valuable information regarding the UC school system as well as links to the individual school sites.

CSU This is the main hub site of the California State University school system. Here, you can find valuable information regarding the CSU system as well as links to the individual school sites.

Sallie Mae SallieMae offers valuable information on loans and general financial aid. SallieMae can also introduce you to alternative ways of paying for college such as their pay plan that many colleges work through.

FastWeb FastWeb offers you information on financial aid, colleges in general, and can also help you find a part-time job. More importantly, however, is the sites ability to search for potential scholarships that you can apply to.

FAFSA The FAFSA is the first step in getting financial aid. This website is the place to go for questions concerning government aid and to actually fill out the real FAFSA.

College Board CollegeBoard offers information on the various standardized tests such as the PSAT, the SAT, and the ACT and also provides instructions and help with finding and applying to colleges.

Take it one step at a time...

Why go to college? Many high school students look forward to putting high school behind them and moving on with their lives. At college, you’ll explore and broaden your interests, pursue your goals, meet lifelong friends and define yourself in ways you can only imagine now. Do you want to narrow down your career choices? Go on over to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and answer a few simple questions.

Prepare for college: Don’t wait until you’re a senior to start thinking about college. Work hard at getting good grades throughout high school. Start thinking about what’s important to you in a college, and look at web sites and collect brochures from colleges that interest you. Take a look at "Adventures in Education", a website that has helped thousands of teens plan for success in college and beyond.

Find your college: Now that you know what to find out about each college, how do you go about getting the information? This process has several steps. Search the Internet for colleges that interest you, compare your choices, visit campuses and attend prospective student activities. To make things easier, go on over to "Own Your Own Future" and click on "Find a College".

Pay your way through college: There are many ways to finance a college education. Most colleges provide scholarships and financial aid. The most common types of aid are funded by the federal government, a college or university, or various companies and organizations. The government has made this as easy as possible for you, giving you websites like this one to help you fund your dream.

College Terminology

A-G Requirements: These are courses necessary to get into a University of California (UC) college.

Undergraduate: If you're in college but don't have a degree.

AA (Associates of Arts): A 2-year certificate program.

BA (Bachelor of Arts): A 4-year degree in the humanities and/or social sciences.

BS (Bachelor of Science): A 4-year degree in the study of natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, business, etc.

Certificate: Usually a 6 or 12 week course in a focused area.

EOP: Educational Opportunity Program, designed to help students facing income or educational barriers be successful in college.

GPA: Grade Point Average - an average of all letter grades.

Postsecondary: this: means "After high school."

Major: Field of study in which a student pursues specialized study.

Minor: This is the second course of study you choose for college.

Transcript: A complete record of the student's high school grades in all subjects taken from grades 9 through 12.

Tuition: Colleges charge tuition for teaching you.

Financial Aid: It's money that will help you pay for college..

SAR (Student Aid Report): The SAR contains the information you reported on your FAFSA.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid-

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: The main difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan is that a subsidized loan doesn't accrue interest whereas an unsubsidized loan does.

20 surprising higher education facts

10 myths about college admissions

Why go to college?

Benefits of pursuing a higher education

How to fund your dreams

"Where do I go from here?"
The benefits of GEAR UP go far beyond the limited number of years that we spend with the students. The far-reaching "ripple" effect will unleash a wave of competent learners on our post-secondary educational system who are armed with all the tools it will take to ensure success. Please take a look at some other informative sites to continue your research:
Student Quote:
“Through GEAR UP, I have learned that you should take every opportunity that is handed to you, no matter if it is not in your interest at the moment because it could. ”
“I’ve learned to be a better leader and helper through GEAR UP. I’ve learned a lot about how to speak to people and how to improve my leadership skills.”
“I have learned to take advantage of all opportunities available to me. GEAR UP has helped me become more prepared for college by giving me experience in a college level class and exposure to a variety of campuses.”