Department of Education Announces Focused Grant Competitions for Fattah-Created GEAR UP Program - KOAM TV 7

Department of Education Announces Focused Grant Competitions for Fattah-Created GEAR UP Program

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SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

The early college awareness program created by Congressman Fattah will concentrate its new grant competitions on Promise Zones and college fit and readiness

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College attainment legislation introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) early in his Congressional career will sharpen its focus in helping the nation's low-income middle and high school students prepare for and enter college.  Today, the Department of Education announced the availability of $75 million in funding for two new competitions for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

The two competitions will focus on supporting more low-income students and increasing the equity of opportunity in America's schools. One of the programs will specifically target college fit and readiness, in order to maximize student success. A separate competition will be designed to coordinate with the Promise Zone communities announced by the Administration earlier this year. Mantua-a West Philadelphia neighborhood in Fattah's Congressional district-is one of the first five Promise Zones designated throughout the country. As one of the Promise Zones, school and partner organizations in the Philadelphia community will be well-positioned to compete for this new round of GEAR UP funding.

"The new focus in GEAR UP programming is a continuation of this Administration's commitment to supporting low-income students on their path to higher education," Congressman Fattah said. "GEAR UP is not only working, it is thriving, and I am especially pleased that the Administration has chosen to use GEAR UP as a tool to support its ongoing Promise Zones Initiative. It continues to be a national model to push more of our underrepresented young people towards a college degree."

This year marks the 15th anniversary of GEAR UP programming around the country. GEAR UP and college access has remained one of Congressman Fattah's legislative priorities in Congress.

In a statement released today by the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Arne Duncan said, "College prep programs like GEAR UP can make all the difference in whether many young people from disadvantaged families can pursue a higher education. These grants will help provide the mentoring, resources and financial aid that will offer thousands of students the additional support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education."

In 2013, the New America Foundation called GEAR UP, "the most promising" of all similar college-access federal programs, and a Foundation report urged a tripling of funding for the program.

GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to offer a comprehensive program in high-poverty middle and high schools. The grants currently fund 87 programs across the country, serving approximately 420,000 middle and high school students.

For additional information on GEAR UP, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html


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