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USU STARS! GEAR UP and Partnership Helps Students Achieve Ambitious Secondary and Postsecondary Goals

NEW YORK, June 17, 2022 /—, one of the world's largest online tutoring services, is excited to announce its continued support of the Utah State University STARS! GEAR UP program, which helps thousands of students across the state set and achieve ambitious college-going and persistence goals. (STARS! is an acronym for Science, Technology, Arithmetic, Reading Students; GEAR UP is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.) Since 2018, the partnership with has helped middle school, high school, and first-year college GEAR UP students access no-cost personalized tutoring and homework help 24/7.

USU STARS! GEAR UP seeks to expand the college-bound culture in Utah, and specifically to increase the number of low-income students from under-resourced communities who aspire and are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The program provides college readiness and outreach services, including mentoring, advising, financial aid guidance, literacy development, and tutoring.

Among the supports that the program offers is access to, which this past year provided 24/7, no-cost, 1-to-1 tutoring for more than 11,000 students across 15 schools at 7 school districts. GEAR UP continues to support first-year college students with as well, whether they matriculate at an in-state university or venture out of state.

Students can connect on demand or via scheduled sessions with rigorously vetted expert tutors, who provide support in more than 200 subjects, many of which are available in Spanish as well. Tutoring is available via text-chat or two-way voice in a secure, collaborative online classroom. additionally offers an array of test prep resources from The Princeton Review®. 

USU STARS! GEAR UP selected because they found the service easy to use, and noted it connects students with an expert tutor more quickly than any other service they considered. (In 2021, the median wait time to connect with a tutor across all programs was 24 seconds.)

“The tutors are not only qualified, but engaging and fun to work with,” said Jeannine Huenemann, Director of Grant 2, which serves the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022. “We regularly see comments from students talking about how their tutor empowered them to understand materials and left them feeling positive about their work.” One college algebra student remarked: “I don't know what I would do without this free service... I've gotten better grades because of this service. I've gone from getting F's in math, to getting B's.”

Staff also highlighted the focus on personalized sessions, the availability of a wide variety of subjects, and the option to extend the program to help its college students as other factors strengthening their choice to adopt the service.

GEAR UP staff receive real-time usage data and analytics so they can help school site partners address curricular challenges and provide just-in-time support for students who need it. “Our goal is to strengthen the learning communities we serve as we help them identify sustainable resources that really affect student outcomes,” said Monique Squire, Program Coordinator of Grant 4 in the Granite School District GEAR UP Program, which serves more than 4,200 students at six of the district’s high schools. “Being able to share data with our school partners, and witnessing its impact on student confidence and success, makes a big difference.”

GEAR UP’s students engage with tutors most often during after-school hours, although school-day access is available too. Live tutoring subjects most widely requested include calculus, ACT® test prep, Python (a computer programming language), algebra I and II, geometry, and physics.’s writing center service is also extremely popular. Learners can access live help, or utilize asynchronous writing review and receive detailed feedback within a day. USU STARS! GEAR UP encourages students to drop off not only coursework for review, but also resumes, scholarship application responses, and college admission essays. 

“ has been a phenomenal resource for our students,” Teri Dial, GEAR UP Site Coordinator at Granger High School in Granite School District, commented. “It is so great to see the excited faces of our kids who have tried and realize what a valuable tool it is for them!” 

“We couldn’t be more honored to continue our long partnership with USU STARS! GEAR UP, and to encourage so many deserving students in Utah as they strive to achieve their postsecondary goals,” said Keisha Hellon, Director of Educational Partnerships, and The Princeton Review. “The GEAR UP staff are all passionate advocates working tirelessly each year to expand awareness and access that empowers student success. They have our admiration and respect, and it continues to be a great pleasure to support their efforts.” is available to USU STARS! GEAR UP students at no cost, 24/7. To learn more about the USU STARS! GEAR UP program, visit  


Utah State University STARS! was awarded its first seven-year grant in 2012 from the U.S. Department of Education to provide student services. Additional grants were awarded to the program in 2015, 2017, and 2018. These four awards total $64 million with schools and partners matching an equal amount to support programming in schools. GEAR UP partner schools are located in both urban and rural communities. They serve an entire grade band, or cohort, of students at a school, starting in seventh grade and continuing to work with the same students through the first year of college. Site coordinators at each school work with administrators and staff to plan activities that meet the needs of their community, such as include college visits, financial aid awareness nights for parents and students, tutoring and academic support, and college and career fairs. The USU STARS! GEAR UP office and partners support professional development and summer programs for schools and staff. Utah State University administers the GEAR UP partnership grants through the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services as part of the Center for the School of the Future and the School of Teacher Education & Leadership.


Since its incorporation in 2000, has delivered more than 22 million one-to-one online tutoring and homework help sessions to students. The company's more than 3,000 vetted and qualified tutors provide learning assistance that is available 24/7 in a wide variety of subjects. The company’s mission is to instill hope, advance equity, and catalyze achievement in schools and communities. powers tutoring and homework help programs for the U.S. Department of Defense, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Program, colleges and universities, K–12 school districts, state and local libraries, and companies offering employee benefit programs. Headquartered in New York City, is an affiliate of The Princeton Review, an education services company not affiliated with Princeton University. Follow on Twitter @tutordotcom, Facebook @TutorDotCom, and LinkedIn

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