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GEAR UP after high school

The GUIDE (Giving Undergraduates Information and Direction in their Education) program supports Vermont State GEAR UP students on their journeys after high school graduation.

If you were you a GEAR UP student in high school, you are automatically enrolled in the GUIDE program upon graduation.

Here's how GUIDE can help:


Free Online Tutoring icon




Book Money

Book Money Meetings

Meet with a GUIDE counselor for your GUIDE check-in and earn $350 toward 1st and 2nd semester books (and supplies upon request.)


Need help figuring out how to buy books? See our book buying guide


Meet Our Team

After you complete your Book Money Meeting, you can schedule as many follow up meetings as you need. Schedule a meeting with the first available GUIDE counselor: 



Jessica Smith (she/her), GUIDE program coordinator



Tia Stillman (she/her), GUIDE counselor



Michelle Legere (she/her), GUIDE counselor



Cathy Printon (she/her), GUIDE counselor



Jimmy Clark (they/them), GUIDE counselor


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tutoring icon

Free Online Tutoring

GUIDE is excited to provide you access to free 24/7 online tutoring through 

To sign up, fill out the simple form at Sign-up.

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Connect with us

Join GUIDE on Social Media!

  • Find our linktree here to join our community.

What is GUIDE texting?

  • helpful reminders.
  • get one on one help from a GUIDE counselor to answer your questions.
  • parents/guardians and students receive similar reminders and updates to keep everyone on the same page.

“Opt in” and get started by texting (802) 441-6040.

If you aren’t receiving text messages or would like to receive monthly emails from GUIDE, contact Jessica Smith at to be added to the list.

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Alumni Network

Alumni Network

Join our growing alumni network

  • Stay connected with the community and learn about new professional opportunities by joining us on LinkedIn.
  • Do you have feedback? We want to hear it! Tell us how we’re doing by filling out this 5-minute feedback survey here.
  • Looking to contribute to the community? Let’s connect!

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How do I make sure I’m getting my GEAR UP Scholarship?

As a GEAR UP student, you have access to the GEAR UP Scholarship.

Get step-by-step instructions to check if you’re getting your GEAR UP Scholarship.

If you don’t see your GEAR UP Scholarship, contact Jessica Smith at She'll be able to help you!

How do I apply to the scholarships in the VSAC scholarships booklet?

Learn how to apply for more than 100 VSAC-assisted scholarships in the VSAC scholarships booklet (and don't forget also to check out all of the private scholarships in the booklet).

Where can I find other scholarships?
  • Bigfuture® by The College Board: Find scholarships, other financial aid, and internships—from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion.   
  • Fastweb®: Find scholarships that match your strengths, interests, and skills—from more than 1.5 million scholarships, totaling $3.4 billion.    
  • Cappex®: Fill out a free profile to discover which scholarships match you best.   
  • NEFCU nursing and science scholarships: Learn about nursing and STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) scholarships for members of the New England Federal Credit Union.
  • Get Schooled Scholarships for first generation college students.

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navigating bills and financial aid

Navigating Bills & Financial Aid

Filling out your FAFSA and Vermont grant unlocks money for school.

Feeling overwhelmed? We're here to help.

I don't understand my award letters.
Did you know that you can ask your financial aid office for more money?
What should I ask when I call the financial aid office?
  • Can you walk me through my bill?
  • How much do I owe?
  • What other costs are associated with my program (for example, travel, computer, uniforms, equipment, supplies)?
  • Do I need to pay for college health insurance?
I don't understand my bill.
  • Call your financial aid office and ask, "Can you walk me through my bill?"
  • Calendy: Meet with a GEAR UP counselor at VSAC who can help you understand your bill.
  • Ask what other costs are associated with your program (for example, travel, computer, uniforms, equipment, supplies).
  • Ask whether or not you need to pay for college health insurance. If you're already covered, ask whether you can waive the college insurance.
What do I do if I still owe money?
I need to take out a loan. What do I do?

Be an informed consumer. Shop around. Compare interest rates. Here are resources to help you get started:

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FAFSA & VT Grant help

FAFSA & Grant Help 

Filling out your FAFSA and Vermont grant unlocks money for school.

Feeling overwhelmed? We're here to help.

I want FAFSA resources to look at on my own.
I want one-on-one help filling out the FAFSA.
  • Schedule a meeting with a GEAR UP GUIDE counselor for help with your application.
  • Text us to ask a quick question. Each high school graduating class has their own text number. Use the phone number that goes with your graduating class year:
    • Grad Year 2019: (802) 230-7971
    • Grad Year 2020: (802) 234-8205
    • Grad Year 2021: (802) 232-3538
  • Go directly to FAFSA's live chat.

    Scroll until you see the  “I’m a Parent” segment. In the “Contact” section, click “Live Chat.”

  • View VSAC's list of events that provide help.  
I want to fill out the Vermont Grant.

Learn how to apply for a Vermont grant

Watch the first 30 minutes of this video for help filling out the application for a Vermont grant.

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