In the News

10 States and 31 Partnerships Awarded Total of $82M

September 22, 2014, Washington, DC – In a ceremony in New York City today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the states and partnerships that will receive $82M in funding through the federal GEAR UP program. The FY 2014 awards will add 10 states and 31 partnerships to the GEAR UP program, and serve an estimated 116,000 students.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a U.S. Department of Education-funded program focused on preparing middle and high school students from low-income families to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP programs serve an entire cohort, usually beginning in 7th grade through high school, or the first year of postsecondary education. Grant funds are used for tutoring, teacher training, test preparation, financial aid education and counseling, college visits, and more. Continuation awards will also fund 87 existing GEAR UP grants. In total, GEAR UP programs are expected to serve approximately 566,000 students per year. The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) is the training and technical assistance provider of the GEAR UP program.

“NCCEP congratulates the FY 2014 GEAR UP grantees on their success in bringing these competitive federal resources to communities across the nation,” said Nathan Monell, President and CEO of NCCEP. “Their tireless efforts to design comprehensive, research-based programs will directly benefit nearly 116,000 students from low-income schools. Many of these students will be the first in their families to enter postsecondary education.”

The Secretary’s announcement comes at the kick-off of National GEAR UP Week, where grantees across the nation are hosting events in their communities to share GEAR UP’s impact with policymakers, business leaders, and community partners.

Monell noted that demand for GEAR UP funding remains high. “The increasing competitiveness of GEAR UP awards, coupled with the irregularity in GEAR UP funding opportunities, means that many, many high-quality proposals will go unfunded in 2014. The growing need for GEAR UP outpaces our nation’s stagnant investments in the program. Congress simply must do more to invest in the college and career readiness of our nation’s children.”

NCCEP is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the fundamental principle that every child deserves an equal chance to obtain a high-quality education. NCCEP establishes community-education partnerships, strengthens research-based college access programs, and develops tools and resources to provide educational opportunities for all students. For more information, please visit us online at

PDF icon FY14 Competition Release - final.pdf171.08 KB