Governor: Grant paves way for low-income & minority students to obtain a higher education
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced New York state was awarded a $28 million, seven-year Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase college and career readiness for more than 6,200 low-income New York state students. The GEAR UP program will help New York students attending high-poverty middle and high schools prepare for and succeed in college.
"My administration is committed to expanding equitable access to higher education for all of New York's students," Hochul said. "By providing resources to students from low-income households, we are eliminating barriers to a postsecondary education and ensuring all New Yorkers have the tools needed to thrive. Setting our students up for success will help put them at the greatest competitive advantage in our state, nation, and beyond."
Students beginning in seventh grade through their freshman year in college will have access to support services, including tutoring and homework assistance, academic counseling, mentoring, college and career counseling, financial literacy, college tours, and summer academies to help them enroll and succeed in college. NYGEAR UP also provides services to parents and guardians and professional development to teachers, counselors and administrators.
This is the fourth consecutive GEAR UP award that New York state has received, and one of only two GEAR UP states funded in 2022 by the U.S. Department of Education. The NYGEAR UP program will be administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. in partnership with the State University of New York, City University of New York, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, the New York State Department of Labor, and other various State agency partnerships.
Dr. Guillermo Linares, president of the New York State Higher Education Services Corp., said, "The New York State GEAR UP program has helped put postsecondary education within reach for thousands of New York students, and I am thrilled that New York has received this award so that more underrepresented students can receive the support they need to attend and succeed at a higher education. We must continue to pave the path to college for low-income students who face inequities that are barriers to a higher education."
SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, "SUNY was established specifically to provide an accessible and affordable education to students from all walks of life. This funding will help build on New York state's longstanding efforts to send more individuals on a path toward a college degree – including direct financial aid through the Tuition Assistance Program and academic support through the Educational Opportunity Program. It's an investment in our students' success, and a credit to Gov. Hochul's steadfast commitment to making higher education more widely available in recognition of the significant positive impact of obtaining a college degree. I also appreciate our federal partners for making the GEAR UP funding available for those who need it most."
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "The GEAR UP program is an important and needed antidote to help eradicate barriers to success in postsecondary education for New Yorkers from low-income households, including many thousands of students who attend city high schools and hope to move into the CUNY system. GEAR UP funds will aid a variety of programs that will in turn help many more students to enter CUNY, complete their degrees, launch prosperous careers and improve their economic circumstances.'
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The GEAR UP program has proven to be life-changing resource for students across the state, and I'm thrilled to see it continue. These students will make up New York's future workforce. They deserve a level playing field and every opportunity to pursue paths that lead to successful, fulfilling careers."
President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Lola W. Brabham said, "New York faces significant challenges ahead. The COVID pandemic has left deep scars, both visible and unseen, and has laid bare the fragility of our human capital. Fortunately, New York's world-class colleges and universities, both public and private, are well-positioned to help the state confront these challenges. CICU and its member colleges and universities welcome the chance to continue this important work in close partnership with the state to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP helps students receive the resources and support needed to achieve their highest potential."
Eligible schools and not-for-profit entities applying for and selected to receive an award will be notified in January. For more information on the NYGEAR UP program, visit https://gearup.ny.gov/.