CLINTON — The Clinton Community School District has been awarded a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The federal department awarded $22 million to 10 states this year, with Iowa receiving $3.2 million.
The grant targets improved college readiness for low-income and first-generation college students. This marks the second time CCSD has been awarded the grant.
“It’s designed for free and reduced kids to give them more opportunities to go to college,” Superintendent Deb Olson said.
Students from the first Clinton GEAR UP group graduated in the 2013-14 academic year.
“Anytime we can get grant money like this, it’s very exciting for our kids,” Olson said.
The Iowa College Student Aid Commission, a state-run government agency, received the grant. A press statement released by the commission on Wednesday quoted Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who said GEAR UP helps address low-income problems and raises awareness for those students.
“We know that the future of Iowa’s economic success is dependent upon a well-educated workforce,” Branstad said in the release. “While the percent of students who enroll in college immediately after high school graduation has increased for middle- and upper-income students, it has remained stagnant for low-income students.”
The grant will start in seventh grade and follow those students through high school and into college.
Olson said a low-income population is something CCSD is continually working toward assisting. Like the previous GEAR UP award, she hopes it will increase opportunities for target students.
Source: Clinton Herald