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GEAR UP NC is a federally funded program from the U.S. Department of Education (P334S120003). The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project aims to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP NC is operated by the University of North Carolina System.

The GEAR UP NC Virtual Reality (VR) app is intended to help first-generation students gain early awareness of college options in North Carolina. It is also intended to motivate students to think of college as an option and to begin to take the necessary steps to apply to college and for financial aid.

The project began as a pilot with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Visitor Center's First Look program and has since expanded to include all 16 University of North Carolina campuses. GEAR UP NC intends to expand the project to include North Carolina Community Colleges and possibly private colleges and universities.

How To Use A Cardboard Headset

  1. To start off, scan the code on the back of the box or download GEAR UP VR from the App Store.
  2. Proceed to open the app and click "Just Get Started."
  3. Set aside your phone. Slide the cardboard headset out of the cover and set it aside.
  4. Pull open the coardboard from the top, and set aside the headphones.
  5. Open the flaps and fold them over the top and velcro the sides.
  6. Pull the plastic off the eyepieces.
  7. On the GEAR UP app, press play on any of the 360 videos and then press pause.
  8. On the bottom right of the video player, press the icon of the person with the headset to start cardboard mode.
  9. Place the phone within the flap of the cardboard. Plug in your headphones.
  10. Press play. Fold the coardboard flap up and velcro at the top and enjoy!

If you don't have a cardboard, no worries! You can just press play on the video and move your phone around to enjoy the content.

App Instructions

  1. Register/login or select "Just Get Started," which will take you right into the app. *Note: Making an account will allow you to save an university as your favorite.
  2. Opening screen takes you to the GEAR UP home page, which has:
    • Introductory 360-degree video.
    • Majors and Degrees: 360-degree video with general information about majors and degrees. Transcript of the video is below and will have any links mentioned in the video.
    • #HowtocollegeNC: 360-degree video with general information about colleges in North Carolina. Transcript of the video is below and will have any links mentioned in the video.
    • Campus Life: 360-degree video with general information about campus life. Transcript of the video is below and will have any links mentioned in the video.
    • Visit NC Colleges: This takes you to the list of all of the universities in the UNC-system.
  3. Visit any UNC-system University. Each campus has:
    • 360-degree video with an overview about the university and student life.
    • About: Links to the university's website, application, financial aid information, and degrees and majors information.
    • Connect: Social media links for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
    • Contact: Opens up your mail app, so you can email admissions, which will be provided for you when you select contact. *Coming soon: The contact features will eventually use Ai, so you can text the university's admissions bot with any questions.

YouTube Playlist

All of the videos can be watched here on your computer. Closed captioning is enabled for all of these videos.