Pathways and Achievement grant

Montana TRiO Achievement Grant

The Montana TRiO Grant is a one-time award of $1,500. This grant is disbursed directly to the student’s institution of higher education. The grant may be used to cover the student’s cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, room, meal plans, etc...) at any U.S. accredited college or university that awards an associate’s degree or higher.

Application Process:

  1. Read the eligibility requirements to determine if you are eligible to apply for an Achievement Grant.
  2. Complete this application, attach a 7th semester transcript.
  3. Mail signed application and additional materials no later than March 1, 2018 to:

Montana GEAR UP Scholarship Department
PO Box 203101
Helena, MT 59620-3101

For questions, please contact the Montana GEAR UP Scholarship Department at 1-800-537-7508 or

Eligibility Requirements:
To be eligible for an Achievement Grant you must:

  • Were enrolled in a TRIO Talent Search or Upward Bound program prior to your senior year of high school and are still participating in an active program.
  • Currently have and graduate with a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average (GPA).
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be Pell Grant eligible (final determination of Pell eligibility to be confirmed by the campus prior to disbursement of funds).
  • Be on track to complete the Montana University System college preparatory curriculum as evidenced by your 7th semester high school transcript. These college preparatory requirements must be met by graduation to receive funding. See college prep requirements on page 2, or visit for more information.

Montana GEAR UP Pathways & Achievement Grant

Intent to Enroll Form


Montana GEAR UP Matched Education Savings Account (MESA) Program

What is a “MESA”?
A Matched Education Savings Account (MESA), also known as an individual Development Account (IDA), is a special matched savings account for people with lower incomes. These accounts are designed to help families and individuals of modest means establish a pattern of regular saving and, ultimately, purchase a “productive asset.” A productive asset” is something of value that is likely to return substantial long‐term benefits to its owner. While your paycheck helps you to buy food and clothing and pay your bills each month, an asset provides financial security for the future. Typically, IDA savings and match money can be used to buy a house, pay for education, or start a small business. Most IDA programs focus on a particular type of asset like education or home ownership. The Montana MESA Programs are dedicated to helping participants save for post‐secondary education at a Montana school.

What is a “savings match?”
A “savings match” is a promise to supplement a MESA or IDA participant’s savings deposit at a specific rate. For example, a 5:1 savings match means that for every dollar a participant saves as part of the program, he or she will be eligible to receive another five dollars. So if you save $500 throughout the course of the program and meet all the other program requirements you will be eligible for $2,500 match to purchase the agreed upon asset. The maximum match that the participant will be eligible to receive is dependent on the particular MESA program they are eligible for. Matched funding may not be used to pay toward student loans or housing.

Montana GEAR UP Spirit of Community Scholarship

The Spirit of Community Scholarship was awarded to a high school senior who demonstrated leadership skills through a commitment to community service and plans to pursue a career in Education or Nursing. The Spirit of Community Scholarship is worth up to $15,000 annually, up to four years, and may be used to cover the student’s cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books/materials, room, meal plans, etc.) at any accredited college or university in the state of Montana that awards an associate’s degree or higher. The Spirit of Community Scholarship Committee selected Rebecca Whitesell from Arlee High School to receive the scholarship. Rebecca plans to pursue a degree in nursing from Carroll College. Community Scholarship


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Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
560 N. Park Ave. • PO Box 203201 • Helena, Montana 59620-3201 • Phone 406.449.9143 • FAX 406.449.9171 •

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