College and Career Readiness was created to be a support toward one of the State Department of Education's strategic goals, as established by The Superintendent of Public Instruction:

Goal 1: "All Idaho students persevere in life and are ready for college and careers." Whether you are a student, family member, or an Idaho educator, we hope you find resources and links that can inform, support or enhance efforts toward student success and goal setting for the future. We know goals can be as unique as the individual student's we serve, and toward that effort, we strive to keep abreast current opportunities, resources, exploration, and pathways of success.

If you are seeking a resource that is not referenced on this this page, please contact Danielle Taylor.


As legislated by Senate Bill 1290 in 2016, each public school in Idaho who serves students in grades 8-12 shall establish a college and career advising program for their students. These programs can include advising personnel, near peer/college mentors, students ambassadors, and virtual coaching, among other activities.

Special distributions for schools based on 2020-2021 enrollment:

  • For school districts and charter schools with 100 or more students in grades 8 through 12, budget the greater of $67 per student (8-12), or $18,000
  • For school districts and charter schools with fewer than 100 students in grades 8 through 12, budget the greater of $180 per student (8-12), or $9,000

As a current graduation requirement in Idaho, students must take a college entrance exam, the SAT or ACT. Each spring, Idaho offers the SAT to all public high school juniors at no cost. In preparation for the SAT, Idaho also offers the PSAT/NMSQT to all public high school sophomores that is administered each fall. The implementation of the annual PSAT/NMSQT and SAT is coordinated by the Assessment & Accountability Department. If you are seeking local specific information on the PSAT/NMSQT or SAT, please contact your local school’s counselor or district test coordinator for testing dates and details.

For more information and resources about the college entrance/placement exams and graduation requirement, visit the College Entrance Exams webpage.

Gear Up Logo

Current GEAR UP Idaho grant is closed and not accepting applicants.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a discretionary federal grant program that focuses on early intervention strategies to assist low-income and first-generation students in becoming prepared for postsecondary education. GEAR UP strives to help students meet standards necessary for high school graduation and provide them with the skills to succeed beyond high school.

GEAR UP Idaho serves over 5,000 students in twenty-four school districts. For seven years (duration of the federal grant), GEAR UP Idaho supports two cohort of students from their seventh-grade year through their first year of college. Below are the school years and grade levels served:


School Year 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023 2023/2024 2024/2025
Grant Year & Grade Level Year 1
7th
Year 2
7th & 8th
Year 3
8th & 9th
Year 4
9th & 10th
Year 5
10th & 11th
Year 6
11th & 12th
Year 7
12th & 13th


Not only does GEAR UP Idaho provide skills for students to be successful after high school, but it affords college scholarships to GEAR UP Idaho students after graduation (scholarship amounts will vary year to year). Scholarships are only awarded to GEAR UP Idaho students who are attending public and nonprofit Idaho colleges and universities. If students go out of state for their postsecondary education, their scholarships will not be able to be awarded.

For more information and resources about GEAR UP Idaho scholarships, visit the GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship Overview webpage.

Are you a GEAR UP Alumni? Check-out the GEAR UP Alumni page and join our contact list to help out current high school GEAR UP students by providing a campus tour or sharing your college experience.

Advanced Opportunities

The Advanced Opportunities program provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125 to use towards Advanced Opportunities in grades 7-12. The funds can be used for overload courses, dual credits, exams, or workforce training.

Additional training information can be found in the Training tab.

Learn more about the Advanced Opportunities program.

Next Steps Idaho

Next Steps Idaho was designed by the State Board of Education in partnership with Idaho’s employers to create a location for students, parents, and educators to learn and understand how to pursue educational and career opportunities in Idaho.

Learn more and explore Next Steps Idaho.


Resource Files

Academic Preparation

Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Preparation