Skip to Main Content

Press Release: Federal Grant Opens Doors To Postsecondary Education

Maryland's $13 Million 'Gear Up' Award Helps Prepare At-Risk, Low Income Students For Success After High School

For Immediate Release                                                      Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (September 25, 2014)

Maryland has received a six-year, $13 million federal grant designed to bring college within reach of more than 1,400 disadvantaged students.

The grant was one of 10 states Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grants announced by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week.  This marks the State’s first GEAR UP grant since 2005 and brings with it, $2.17 million for fiscal 2014.

“GEAR UP partnerships and state grants are inspiring examples of communities taking a stand for excellence and equity in education, investing in student success, and creating a culture that helps all young people achieve,” Secretary Duncan said.  “I commend all the recipients for their relentless efforts to help students realize their potential through college readiness, access, and completion.”

Maryland’s project involves three systems: Baltimore City, Dorchester County, and Wicomico County.  The grant will provide academic support and college awareness activities for economically disadvantaged middle and high school students. 

“Every high school graduate in Maryland should be able to gain access to the college and career-training needed to pursue their dreams,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery.  “GEAR UP provides a tremendous opportunity to support local efforts to improve college readiness and increase college attendance, particularly among low-income and first-generation students.”

The grant targets a cohort of seventh grade students with support services that will follow them for six years.  Students will receive extra support in math and English language arts through tutoring, after school programs, and summer academies.  It also will provide college awareness activities and opportunities for students and their families, ranging from college visits to help in applying for financial aid.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission partnered with MSDE in this project and will help coordinate the college awareness activities.

More about GEAR UP is available here.

# # #