GEAR UP and Central College Connect High School Students to Iowa’s Largest College Fair

Nearly 200 high school students and family members from Des Moines Public Schools will participate in a day of college preparation activities next week. Members of GEAR UP Des Moines and the Central College Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Science, and Educational Talent Search will gather for a Pre-College Fair and the Golden Circle College Fair, the largest college fair in Iowa. The events will be held:

Sunday, Oct. 3
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Lincoln High School Roundhouse
2600 SW 9th St.

Sunday, Oct. 3
12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Polk County Convention Center
501 Grand Ave.

The Pre-College Fair will connect high schoolers with a college admissions expert to talk about how to navigate a college fair and will include a college student panel to answer questions about the college lifestyle. Parents will also hear from a financial aid expert and college planning expert to find out how they can support their student’s college search.

After the morning events, students and parents will be served a complimentary lunch and then bus or drive to the Polk County Convention Center. Families will have two-and-a-half hours to speak with the 150 colleges that will be at the Golden Circle College Fair, the year’s largest collection of schools in Iowa.

“Attending these events will give students and parents a wonderful opportunity to speak to a wide range of colleges at the fair and know what questions to ask while they are there,” said Justin Villere, a VISTA member with GEAR UP. “It is also a great way for students and families to speak with experts on the financial aid and planning process before the fair.”

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a national initiative to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. The GEAR UP Des Moines cohort includes 1,350 eleventh graders and 150 tenth graders in the five comprehensive DMPS high schools and Scavo Alternative High School. Central College’s TRiO programs, including Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, partner with middle and high schools around the Des Moines area to prepare low-income students for postsecondary education.