The New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education received the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs grant by the U.S. Department of Education.
New Jersey will receive $5 million in federal funds annually, totaling to $35 million over seven years. The funds will be used to provide academic and enrichment support services to increase college attendance and success for economically disadvantaged students.
The NJ GEAR UP State Project began in 1999 and includes services to seven urban cities, each of which is served by a higher education partner: Atlantic City and Pleasantville (Stockton University); Camden (Rowan University); Jersey City (New Jersey City University); Newark (New Jersey Institute of Technology); Paterson (Passaic County Community College) and Penns Grove/Carneys Point (Salem Community College).
The New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education will seek to expand program services to additional cities.
Partnering institutions will provide students in grades 7 through 12 at selected target middle and high schools with after school and Saturday tutoring, summer programs, mentoring, counseling, test preparation, information about financial aid, and college visits to encourage them to obtain a college degree. The initiative will also extend services to participants in their first year of attendance at an institution of higher education.
GEAR UP also provides benefits to teachers through enhanced professional development, as well as families of GEAR UP students through informational campaigns about post-secondary options.