ACT scores on the rise after Gear Up program

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Nine Iowa school districts, including Sioux City and Storm Lake, saw a marked jump in the number of juniors taking the act this year.

Those districts are participants in the Gear Up Iowa program provided free district-wide testing.

More than a 1000 Sioux City juniors alone had the chance to take the free exam in April.

Gear Up Iowa works with low-income school districts to ensure all students have the chance to take the college entrance exam, which sometimes can cost up to $50 to sign up for.

“It’s exciting and encouraging to see the ACT testing rates in these districts go from below average to above average,” said Karen Misjak, executive director of Iowa College Aid. “This test is one of the essential measures of college readiness. It not only serves as the entrance exam for many colleges in Iowa, but ACT benchmark scores determine the probability of college success. District testing eliminates the time and cost barriers for students by making it part of the school day and ensures the greatest number of students can be tested.”

Iowa College Aid estimates that less than half the juniors in the 9 districts would have taken the act without the Gear Up Iowa initiative.

Below is the list of districts that participated: 

  • Cedar Rapids (Jefferson, Kennedy, Metro, and Washington)

  • Fort Dodge

  • Perry

  • Ottumwa

  • Clinton

  • Marshalltown

  • Storm Lake

  • Davenport (Central, Mid-City, North, West)

  • Sioux City (East, North, West)

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