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Pinedale Online > News > August 2005 > $42 million Pre College Education Program
$42 million Pre College Education Program
August 30, 2005

A new $42 million educational assistance program to prepare low income Wyoming students for success in higher education will be available statewide beginning in 2006.

The GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) program is a collaborative effort among educational levels from middle school through post secondary within the state of Wyoming. The six year program is funded with $21 million from the U.S. Department of Education and matched by the Wyoming Department of Education, the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Community College Commission, and Wyoming's seven community colleges.

"The opportunity to earn a college degree is the opportunity to learn skills that are essential for success in a rapidly changing world," Wyoming First Lady Nancy Freudenthal said. "However, fewer than 20 percent of Americans in families earning less than $25,000 per year earn associate or bachelor's degrees."

"This GEAR UP grant will give students from low income families and their parents critical tools and information to help them lay the groundwork for higher education while students are still in junior high or high school, explore college options, apply for admission to college, find student financial aid, and explore career choices."

Assistance will be provided to up to 2,000 income eligible students and their families each year. GEAR UP coordinators will work directly with students, families, teachers and counselors within community college service areas. UW Student Educational Opportunity (SEO) staff will provide statewide administrative support.

The GEAR UP programs include assistance with career exploration, preparation for college course work and assistance with ACT preparation, plus web based assistance programs to help students apply for college admission and financial aid. Professional development opportunities for teachers as well as curriculum development assistance also are part of the GEAR UP program.

Hard copies of a fact sheet on the Wyoming GEAR UP grant are available by request from the Governorís office: http://wyoming.gov/governor/governor_home.asp


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