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New Video Explains the GEAR UP Match Requirements

Jeannine Huenemann


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This short, four-minute animated video is now available to help you better understand what match is and why it is important. It uses clear and concise examples and visuals to help explain the match requirements of the grant and build a sustainable college-going culture in schools after the grant ends.

Animated video explains match.
Watch our short, animated video to better understand what match is and why it is important
The video features clear and concise examples and visuals.
The video includes clear and concise examples and visuals to help explain GEAR UP match requirements
Learn the terms associated with GEAR UP match requirements.
Learn the terms associated with GEAR UP match requirements and much more

Site coordinators at some of our partner schools asked us for help in explaining the GEAR UP match requirements to their staff and administrators. After starting a deep-dive into the available materials and information about match, our budget, program, and communication staff learned that this was a great topic for an animated video. In addition to the video, we have condensed what we learned in the information below.

Match is a term we use for goods, services, or cash donated to the GEAR UP program. It is also called cost share. Schools partnering with GEAR UP are required to contribute a specific match amount for every GEAR UP federal dollar they receive.

What are the different types of match?

Contribution of goods, volunteers, and in-kind donations are all considered different types of match. Examples of these include visits by classroom volunteers, donations of t-shirts, and tutoring for GEAR UP students after school. You can think of match as what the school or community is putting into the program that will help your school meet their GEAR UP goals and objectives, like tutoring or a FAFSA workshop for students and their families.

Why is match important?

As a federally-funded program, match should be sustainable, not just an isolated effort. The ongoing efforts of valuable partners, like AVID, Texas Instruments, and community groups, will help the students at your school pursue education and training to help them reach their career and life goals. All of this helps sustain a college-going culture in your school after the grant ends.

If the GEAR UP grant is funded for seven-years, why do we talk about match so often? While match is counted over the whole grant period, we still have to report on our progress towards match each year. It is important to remember that all match commitments are subject to audit. That is why we watch each school’s progress towards their individual match goals.

Where can match funds come from?

Match can come from state, local, institutional, or private funds, but you cannot count other federal dollars as match. It must be allocable, allowable, consistent, compliant, and reasonable. If you are not allowed to buy something with GEAR UP federal funds, then the same purchase is also not allowed as match.

How can I help my school with match?

Start with the idea that anything that could be paid for with GEAR UP funds, and goes above and beyond what your school would offer without GEAR UP, can be used as match. This includes time and money spent on GEAR UP activities, money donated to purchase materials, and supplies or services donated to your GEAR UP program. The value of allowable donated items, like healthy snacks and classroom supplies, counts as match. These examples give you an idea about what might be considered match by your school.

This What is Match in GEAR UP video was created to give you a general idea of what match is and why it is important. We hope that it gives you new ideas, and starts dialogue and discussion at your school. Talk to your GEAR UP site coordinator about any specific questions that you have about different types of match. They will walk you through which forms you need to fill out for each specific type of match.