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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A $22 million federal grant will help nearly 6,000 Virginia seventh-graders prepare for college.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will administer the federal "GEAR UP" grant for 16 school districts. GEAR UP is an acronym for "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs."

The program offers students the opportunity to participate in free college tours, ACT and SAT test preparation workshops, tutoring, mentoring, financial aid workshops and summer bridge programs.

Districts served by the grant are Charlottesville, Covington, Danville, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Newport News, Petersburg, Roanoke, Suffolk and the counties of Charlotte, Dinwiddie, King & Queen, Pittsylvania, Sussex and Westmoreland.

Source: NBC 29 News