Brenda Rawson, director of the GEAR UP program at USU Eastern, said that the statewide consortium lead by Utah Valley University was refunded for the next seven years. The total award for the federal program statewide totals more than $26 million.
GEAR UP, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal program that provides services and assistance for low-income students to help them successfully graduate from high school and prepare for and enroll in college.
USU Eastern's share of the grant is $240, 6672 each year for the duration of the seven-year cycle. The total value of USU Eastern's portion of the grant will be $1,684,320 and will assist many students in eastern Utah to make and attain educational goals.
The program reports having a 91 percent high school graduation rate, a significant increase from the national average of 50 percent for low-income students. The program has also seen a 58 percent college graduation rate.
GEAR UP has helped 4,000 disadvantaged Utah students over the past six years. It provides tutors and counselors in school districts across the state as well as workshops, educational planning, campus visits, career counseling, summer camps, financial aid information and college enrollment information.
"We are in nine schools this year in both Carbon and Emery counties," Rawson said. "We assist students in the development of their educational plans and goals, teaching them how to be successful in school, showing them the many opportunities within their reach and the endless horizon of possibilities that await them."