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Local Resident, Darius D. Spurlock, Will Participate in the GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy

Spurlock is one of 29 selected from a nationwide pool of applicants


BATON ROUGE – Local resident, Darius D. Spurlock, has been chosen for the highly competitive GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy (GUALA), Class of 2016. The GUALA program identifies students with exceptional leadership potential and provides additional training and tools to help them more effectively engage their peers, schools, and community in creating a college-going culture.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded college readiness and success program that provides services to approximately 551,000 students in low-income schools across 43 states and 1 territory. This region is served by Louisiana GEAR UP, which is based within the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), and currently serves over 3,000 students in 30 schools and 12 parishes across the state.

In order to better support the GEAR UP mission nationwide, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) created the GUALA program, with the support of the Kresge Foundation. GUALA works to advance college and career readiness in communities by providing 12 months of training for Alumni Leaders on topics related to peer-to-peer outreach and mentoring, social media engagement, public speaking, and education policy.

Spurlock will participate in the year-long GUALA training program in order to better serve his GEAR UP community. As part of the program, Spurlock will travel to Washington, DC for a week-long intensive leadership training, where he will interact with national policymakers and leaders.

“Mr. Spurlock’s countless contributions to the community make him a great fit for this position,” said LA GEAR UP Assistant Director, Dr. Tireka Cobb. “He is an advocate for higher education, and he promotes post-secondary education not only to his peers but to everyone he meets,” she continued.

Darius is an active member of the True Vine Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, LA where he has been involved in numerous church-related activities throughout the community. His most recent honor, the prestigious Scotlandville Magnet High School Principal’s Award, was presented to him for his dedication to excellence and peer leadership.

“While his accomplishments are many, Darius is most proud of being selected to share his GEAR UP story with over 2,000 GEAR UP directors, coordinators, and students at the 2014 National GEAR UP Conference held last summer in Washington, DC,” Cobb added.

“Darius Deonbre Spurlock embodies what Louisiana GEAR UP is all about and he is committed to helping the program achieve continued success in the future,” Cobb concluded.

To learn more about GUALA, please contact Alex Chough at NCCEP at 202-530-1135 or http://www.edpartnerships.org.

Important FAFSA News:

The FSA ID ― a username and password ― has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents.


Click HERE for instructions on creating your FSA ID, or

Click HERE to watch a video on how to create your FSA ID.


Did you receive a START Savings Statement in the mail?

If you did:

1)   You were enrolled in a school that participated in Louisiana GEAR UP during 2002-present.

2)   You were awarded a Rewards For Success Scholarship.

So what do you do now?

1)   If you are currently enrolled in a college/university, you can use your funds to help pay for tuition, fees, books, room and board, materials and supplies, as well as equipment required for enrollment by the college.

A. Just go to this link:


. . . Complete the Request for Disbursement Form, and send your form back to LA GEAR UP via fax or snail mail and we will start the process of transferring your money to an approved post-secondary education institution.

B. Funds are sent directly to the college/university.

C. Please submit your Request for Disbursement Form at least 30 days before your tuition is due, while it may take as little as 2-weeks for processing sometimes processing time is longer.


T'Yonce and her crew rapping about graduation plans.

T’Yonce and her crew rapping about graduation plans.

Click here to read a Baton Rouge Advocate article about the 2015 FLY Tourhosted at SUBR university:  Southern University hosts pep rally for high schoolers.

fly tour 1FLY Tour at Dillard

CGSLandingpageLouisiana College Goal SundaySM

March 1, 2015
1:30 PM until 4:00 PM Central

Download the Flyer here.

To learn what to bring and find confirmed locations & registration info, click the banner below. You’ll be redirected to the LOSFA College Goal Sunday site.

Click here for a FAFSA mythbuster flyer.


BATON ROUGE – October has been proclaimed as “Louisiana College Application Month” by
both Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Louisiana College Application Month (LCAM) in October 2014 provides opportunities for every graduating high school senior to complete at least one application to the college of their choice. Special focus is on students who would be the first in their families to attend, low-income students, and students who may not have otherwise considered applying. Here’s the thing: Approximately 90 percent of middle grade students say they plan to go to college, yet by the time these same students are high school seniors, the numbers are much lower. LCAM provides the supports students need to navigate the often complex college application process.

Online Student Survey

Online Coordinator Survey

LCAM Sign-in Sheet

Download a LCAM Site Coordinator Manual as published by the American Council on Education.

Download this LCAM 2014 PowerPoint Presentation for more information about LCAM.

Use this LCAM Registration Form to identify which day during the month of October you are planning to invite admissions professionals to your high school campus to assist students and parents with college applications. This information will be shared with LCAM partners including admissions offices to facilitate coverage of the events.

The Louisiana Volunteer Resource Guide is intended as a useful guide for On-Site School Coordinators when seeking volunteers for a College Application Month event.

The Application, Orientation, and Housing Fee Waiver spreadsheet provides up-to-date information from Louisiana colleges and universities.


Admission Standards Alert Flyer: As of fall 2014, ACT sub-scores factor into Louisiana four-year public university admission decisions.

Block List Filter Checklist  Use this checklist to make sure necessary websites are not blocked by school filters.

The Louisiana Board of Regents site includes useful postsecondary planning resources and university directories.

College Kickoff!

College Kick-Off is coming to your school or district in September!

CKO GraphicGet your Senior Game Plan here!

Click Website – College Kick off Program to read the program agenda.

OSSCs from each LA GEAR UP school are asked to facilitate the LOSFA District-Wide College Kick-Off event which unveils a yearlong plan to assist students by motivating, instructing, and monitoring postsecondary transition activities. This event requires one class period with your senior class.

Expect a Call to Rally, a review of the Senior Timeline, wrist bands, t-shirts, and a rousing good time!

Use this Kick-Off Sign-in Sheet to sign students up for LA GEAR UP text messaging. By providing their cell phone numbers, students agree to receive text-based communication on their mobile phone from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), LA GEAR UP, and our university partners. Student information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with institutions other than those to which students have indicated interest. Standard text-messaging rates apply and students are responsible for any costs incurred in receiving texts. Students may also opt-out at any time by replying to any text sent.

Take three minutes to explore this free student-friendly online career test. It takes about three minutes. The results will help you determine your aptitude, which is part of the LOSFA 5-Point Match.



ACT Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Do you need extra time or special accommodations while taking the ACT?  Check out this link for assistance:

ACT will make decisions on a case by case basis and documented need.

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