GEAR UP Summer Camps 2009 Get Ready, Set, Fun! by thr14539


									                                                      . . . College is possible for all Montana students

                                                                                                   FEB RUA RY                 200 9

                         GEAR UP Summer Camps 2009:
                         Get Ready, Set, Fun!
                         BY   ANNETTE             WALSTAD,          GEAR      UP   PROGRAM          MANAGER

 INSIDE THIS             216 Montana GEAR UP students attended a GEAR UP summer camp in 2008, and we hope to increase this
        ISSUE:           number by 20 percent in 2009. This year, GEAR UP is offering four statewide summer camps for students
                         entering the 7th or 8th grade in Fall 2009, and one camp for students entering the 9th, 10th, or 11th grade.
                         Camp details are as follows:
                         Middle School
GEAR UP                            • June 7-10:      GEAR UP + SuperCamp at MSU-Northern in Havre
Spotlight Article:   2             • June 14-20:     DCC + ME = Discovery at Dawson Community College in Glendive
Dixon                              • July 5-11:      CSI: Birch Creek at UM Western in Dillon
                                   • July 19-25:     Outdoor Science Camp at Carroll College in Helena
Survey Says          2   High School
                                   • June 11-14: GEAR UP + SuperCamp at MSU-Northern in Havre
Financial Aid:           In the first week of March, all GEAR UP schools will receive middle school summer camp brochures and
                     2   common summer camp applications—similar to last year’s process. The brochure will provide detailed infor-
Grants Continued
                         mation about each camp in one convenient location! The application will also include a section for parental
                         consent and liaison review. A high school brochure and application will also be provided. Remember, while
Financial Aid:           there is no cost for the students, space is limited!
Grants Continued         All student applications will be due to Montana GEAR UP by April 6, 2009. If you have any questions re-
                         garding the camps, the application process, or other summer camp-related topics, contact Annette Walstad
GEAR UP                  at 406-444-0598 or
Spotlight Article:   4
Dutton/Brady             Financial Aid: Grants
                         BY   CORY        CHENOWETH,              GEAR       UP    FINANCIAL         AID    MANAGER
Science & Math
Exploration for      4   When searching for financial aid to pay for college,      is no requirement for repayment and it is essen-
Middle School            two of the best sources for students are scholarships     tially free.
                         and grants. Scholarships and grants are considered
February                                                                           Most grants are awarded based on financial need,
                     4   gift aid, and do not have to be paid back by the stu-
Reminders                                                                          with the highest dollar amounts being awarded to
                         dent. Next month, I will go more into detail on schol-
                                                                                   the students with the greatest financial need.
                                                                                   However, some grants have additional require-
                         Grants:                                                   ments, so the students will have to research and
                                                                                   plan ahead in order to put themselves in the best
                          When searching for financial aid to pay for college,
                         two of the best sources for students are scholarships     position to receive the maximum award.
                         and grants. If students are prepared and receive          How to receive a grant: Every student who com-
                         proper guidance, they have the opportunity to re-         pletes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
                         ceive thousands of dollars worth of Federal, State,       (FAFSA) is automatically considered for most grant
                         and GEAR UP grant money to help pay for college.          programs. Additionally, in order to be eligible for
                                                                                   the maximum amount of aid, a student needs to
                         A grant is a form of financial gift aid, meaning there
                                                                                                                      (Continued on page 2)
PAGE   2

           GEAR UP Spotlight: Dixon
           BY   CHRIS        EICHERT          &   DAVE      HERRIES,          GEAR       UP    CO-LIAISONS

           Dixon School has been busy with             ter and a zoologist.                                          a lot of fun, and the
           various GEAR UP activities this             These speakers not                                            students seemed
           year. During the first quarter, the         only told of what their                                       more involved with
           seventh and eighth graders worked           current jobs are like,                                        what the tour guide
           on the MCIS website. They wrote             but they talked about                                         was saying and
           essays about their future dream             how they grew up and                                          where things were
           job and the education they would            what type of educa-                                           located. We have a
           need for that job. They also com-           tion they needed to                                           few more college
           pared the salaries in three different       get their job.                                                tours planned. The
           states that they might want to live                                       Working on the Jocko River kids are looking for-
           in. Then they                                                                                            ward to them.
                                                                   were given the opportu-
           looked at the
                                                                   nity to go on two field        Lastly, in January the middle school
           job opportu-
                                                                   trips. The first was to the    students started
           nities avail-
                                                                   Jocko River to see first-      the Real Game.
           able in those
                                                                   hand how the river is          This is the sec-
           same states.
                                                                   being restored and             ond time we will
           The students
                                                                   where the trees that are       be using the
           finally com-
                                                                   being planted there            game. We have
           pleted a
                                                                   come from.                     a lot of new
                                                                                                  ideas and we are
           about their                                             The seventh and eighth
                              Dixon students on an educa- graders went on the sec-                looking forward
           future in 10
                                    tional field trip.                                            to implementing
           years.                                                 ond field trip to the Salish
                                                       Kootenai College Campus. The               them.
           The middle school has had various                                                                             Dixon student
                                                       kids took part in a scavenger hunt
           guest speakers at the school:                                                                                learning about
                                                       while they were on the tour. It was
           Tribal Forestry, the Detention Cen-                                                                         the environment.

           Financial Aid continued
           complete the FAFSA by the school’s       We cannot stress enough the impor-        grants, scholarships, and loans.
           priority deadline (usually between       tance of filing the FAFSA on time, as
                                                                                              See the table on page three for more
           2/1 and 3/1), as many grants are         there remains an alarming number
                                                                                              information about grants for which your
           awarded on a first come, first serve     of students that just don’t complete
                                                    the application process who miss          students may be eligible.
                                                    out on thousands of dollars in            Each year Montana, the federal govern-
                                                                                              ment, and GEAR UP award millions of
                                                                                              dollars in scholarships and grants to
                                   Survey Says...                                             help students pay for postsecondary
                                                                                              education. Presumably, all GEAR UP
                                                                                              students are eligible to receive thou-
                                                                                              sands of dollars in gift aid, but they
                                                                                              should be planning ahead in order to
                                                                                              meet the qualifications for these
                                                                                              If you have any questions, please feel
                                                                                              free to contact GEAR UP Financial Aid
                                                                                              Manager, Cory Chenoweth,
                                                                                     or 406-444-
                                                                                              0350. For more information on federal
                                                                                              grants, go to;
                                                                                              and for additional grants specific to Na-
                                                                                              tive American students, please visit

MONTANA         GEAR        UP
                                                                                                                     PAGE   3

                                      Available Grants
    Federal Grants                                Who is eligible                                Max Award Amount
Pell Grant               •Students who, by completing the FAFSA, demonstrate finan-           Up to $4,371/year
                         cial need.
                         •Need based - anyone who qualifies receives the grant.

Federal Supplemental     •Pell-eligible students who demonstrate the most financial           Between $100 and
Educational Opportu-     need.                                                                $4,000/year
nity Grant               •Campuses receive a fixed amount of funds so not everyone
(FSEOG)                  who qualifies receives this grant.

Academic Competitive-    •First-year Pell-eligible students who graduate from high            Up to $750 for first-year
ness Grant               school after completing the rigorous core program of study.          students.
(ACG)                    •Second-year students must also maintain at least a 3.0 cu-          Up to $1,300 for second-
                         mulative GPA.                                                        year students.

Teacher Education        •Students must agree to serve four years as a full-time highly       $4,000/year
Assistance for College   qualified teacher in a high-need field in a public or private ele-
and Higher Education     mentary or secondary school that serves low-income students.
(TEACH)                  Students do not need to demonstrate financial need to receive
                         this grant.
                         •If the recipient does not complete the teaching requirements,
                         the grant will then become a nonsubsidized loan accruing in-
                         terest from the date of disbursement.

National Science &       •Awarded only to students in 3rd and 4th year of undergradu-         Up to $4,000/year
Mathematics Access to    ate study.
Retain Talent Grant      •Students must demonstrate financial need.
(SMART)                  •Major in physical, life or computer science, engineering,
                         mathematics, technology, or a critical foreign language.
                         •Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

     State Grants                                 Who is eligible                                Max Award Amount
Montana Higher Educa-    •Awarded to Montana residents who demonstrate exceptional            During 2007-2008, ap-
tion Grant               financial need as established by the FAFSA.                          proximately $600,000
(MHEG)                   •Early FAFSA filing is encouraged, as funding is limited.            was awarded to just un-
                                                                                              der 1,000 students
Montana Tuition Assis-   • Montana residents who have earned at least 500 times the           Between $100 and
tance Program            Federal hourly minimum wage. Recipients must also have an            $2,000/year
(MTAP)                   Expected Family Contribution of less than $7,231.

   GEAR UP Grants                                 Who is eligible                                Max Award Amount
Achievement Grant        • GEAR UP high school juniors who complete a college prep            $1,500 (One time award)
                         curriculum and graduate with a minimum 2.0 GPA. In order to
                         be considered, the GEAR UP student must apply for the grant
                         during their junior year of high school.
      SAF Grants                                  Who is eligible                                Max Award Amount

Circle of Succe$$        • Montana residents attending a Montana college or univer-           $1,000 (One time award)
                         sity, attending at least 1/2 time, who are in their second, third
                         or fourth year of college. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA.
                         This is a competitive grant.

Acce$$ Grant             • Grant funds are distributed to Montana colleges and univer-        $75-$3,000 (One time
                         sities. Award amounts vary by individual needs and are deter-        award)
                         mined by the campus financial aid office.
PAGE    4

 GEAR UP Spotlight: Dutton/Brady                                                         Science & Math
 BY    TEDI     BISHOP,        LIAISON
                                                                                         Exploration for
 Dutton/Brady teach-                                         Over the course of the
                                                                                         Middle School
 ers spent the first                                         two days, junior high       Girls
 two days of Decem-                                          and high school stu-
                                                                                         Expanding Your Horizons in Sci-
 ber learning new                                            dents learned the tech-
 study skills and tech-                                      niques necessary to         ence and Mathematics will be
 niques from a master                                        become more effective       held on Saturday, April 25, 2009,
 teacher/liaison from                                        learners. There are         at the Engineering and Physical
 Lincoln Public                                              three ways the brain        Sciences (EPS) Building on the
 Schools - Cindy                                             learns: auditory, visu-     Montana State University campus
 Brady. The first day,                                       ally and kinesthetically.   in Bozeman. The focus of the
 she taught the teach-                                       The human brain likes       workshop is to encourage young
 ers games, tech-                Learning new skills         lots of color, pictures     women in the 6th through 8th
 niques and strategies to help students     and stories. The students, teachers          grades to explore a variety of
 succeed. Both teachers and students        and parents all learned power pegs that      math and science related profes-
 discovered their learning styles. Every-   helped in learning a series of twenty        sions through fun and creative
 one figured out why some students or       things in order and all in less than ten     hands-on workshops.
 teachers drive each other crazy, and       minutes. How awesome! Our brains are
 both students and teachers found new       just amazing! The GEAR UP students at        Expanding Your Horizons in Sci-
 ways to make learning/educating            Dutton/Brady now have the tools they         ence and Mathematics is open to
 more productive. Dutton/Brady              need to be successful and work to-           all female students. For further
 School also invited parents to the         wards their ultimate goal of postsec-        information or questions, please
 school to learn ways to help their stu-    ondary training and education. Go Dia-       contact MSU Extended University
 dents do their homework with fool-         mondbacks!                                   in Bozeman at 406-243-5701 or
 proof study strategies.                                                       

     Montana GEAR UP Reminders for February
 •   OPI’s Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference is in Helena on February 17 & 18, 2009.
 •   SAF’s College Goal Sunday hits the state on Wednesday, February 18, & Sunday, February 22, 2009, at various cam-
     puses across Montana. For more information, please visit,
 •   The Montana University System’s Writing Assessment Training session is in Helena on February 18 & 19, 2009. The
     subsequent Writing Assessment scoring sessions are on various dates and multiple locations across the state in
     March & April. See the Montana GEAR UP Professional Development Grid for more information.
 •   Online educator surveys are due to NWREL on February 27.
 •   GEARS student performance data is due for the APR on February 27 and all student and parent activities must be up
     to date at that time.
 •   Local summer program proposals are due into School Grant Managers on March 6. Please contact either Sara Berg
     at 406-444-0848 or or Justine Jam at 406-444-7490 or
 •   Spotlight articles for the February GEAR UP Newsletter are due to Lindsay Thompson by February 20, 2008. All arti-
     cles from GEAR UP Schools are welcome!
 •   This newsletter can also be viewed on our website,

 Montana GEAR UP                                           Our mission: Montana GEAR UP believes that postsec-
 Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education            ondary education is possible for all Montana students,
 PO Box 203201                                             regardless of economic background, and strives to em-
                                                           power them to realize that ambition. Montana GEAR UP
 Helena, MT 59620-3201
                                                           brings this message to middle and high schools, stu-
 Phone: (406) 444-0056
                                                           dents, their parents, and the community through early
 Fax: (406) 444-0425                                       college and career awareness activities, scholarships,
 Visit us on the web at                 financial aid information, and improved academic sup-
                                                           port to raise the expectations and achievement of all.

MONTANA        GEAR       UP

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