GEAR UP 4 LA believes that engaging our families in our college access work helps increase student success, facilitates college planning, and increases the likelihood their children will attend college. We know that parents are essential to creating and sustaining the educational pipeline leading to post-secondary enrollment and graduation.

Helping your child get ready for college can be overwhelming! GEAR UP is here to help. Check out the resources below to help your family get college ready.

Exploring and Preparing for College

Big Future

This all in one website includes a college search as well as a scholarship search tool and a customizable action plan for students about to embark on journeys through the college admissions process. There are also videos — including ones showing an admission officer at Yale who discusses how to begin the college search, an administrator at Notre Dame who debunks financial aid myths, and a college student who says colleges look at more than just grades.

I’m First!

There’s something special about being the first… especially being the first in your family to attend and graduate from college. I’m First! is an online community for first-generation college students—and their supporters. Hear inspiring stories and share your own, discover colleges that care about first-gen students, find answers to your questions about college, and receive guidance on the road to and through college.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to Latino students, as well as related support services. HSF seeks to give students all the tools they need to apply to college, do well in their course work, graduate, enter a profession, excel, help lead our nation going forward, and mentor the generations to come.

The College Board offers a variety of tools and resources to help your child prepare and plan for college. Use “College MatchMaker” to generate a list of colleges that match your child’s preferences. Create and manage a personal list of colleges with “My Organizer.” Have your child get ready for the SAT by taking an official, free practice test.

ACT Student Site

The ACT student site provides information on many aspects of planning for college, including career planning and financial aid. Students can also register for the ACT and find materials to prepare for the test.

Paying for College


Every prospective college student, that is an eligible non-citizen, must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This financial aid application can be requested from any college financial aid office, or from the FAFSA website. Not ready to apply for FAFSA just yet? Check out the FAFSA4caster

CHCI Scholarship

Who’s Eligible?

This award is open to any Latino U.S. citizen or legal resident who is currently enrolled at a community college, four-year university, or graduate-level institution that is accredited by the Department of Education. Additionally, candidates must:

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Possess strong writing skills
  • Be active with local community service projects and programs

Career Exploration

Engineer Your Life

Aimed at encouraging girls to consider engineering, this site has stories of inspiring women who love their careers, information about cool engineering jobs, and tips on getting started in engineering.