College readiness refers to the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors students develop before their first year. It can help students find success while at the University of Iowa. Academic Support & Retention partners with organizations such as the Iowa Department of Education: Future Ready Iowa, Iowa Higher Education Mathematics Transition Advisory Council, and Iowa College Aid that focus more on building relationships and creating pathways that connect K-12 and higher education in ways that result in helping students across the state of Iowa become better prepared for post-secondary opportunities. 

Iowa College Aid has received a series of grants to support the establishment of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Iowa, a program supporting underserved students to prepare, enroll and persist through college. Through these grants, University of Iowa partners support GEAR UP students in preparing them to enroll and succeed in college and supporting them if they attend the University of Iowa.