In August, 2022, New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) was awarded a $28 million, seven-year GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant by the U.S. Department of Education to increase college readiness and success for more than 6,200 low-income New York State students.
GEAR Up is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing States and local community-education partnerships to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools.
New York State students beginning in 7th grade through their freshman year in college, who are participating in the program will have access to support services, including tutoring and homework assistance, academic counseling, mentoring, college and career counseling, financial literacy and professional development to help them enroll and succeed in college. New York State GEAR UP also provides professional development to teachers, counselors, and administrators.
HESC will partner with SUNY (State University of New York), CUNY (City University of New York), CICU (Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities) and the NYS Department of Labor in providing services to students, families and teachers.
NYGEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal initiative designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and excel in postsecondary education. In September 2014, New York State was awarded a $22.4 million multi-year NYGEAR UP grant by the U.S. Department of Education to significantly increase the number of low-income New York State secondary school students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education or training. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) administers the grant NYGEAR UP in New York State, awarding NYGEAR UP sub-grants to qualified sub-grantees statewide through a competitive request for proposal process. NYGEAR UP sub-grantees work with a cohort of students enrolled in middle schools that “feed” into high schools in which 60 percent or fewer students graduate on time, starting in the 7th grade and continuing through 12th grade. NYGEAR UP is designed to:
- Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students, with an emphasis on career readiness and college fit;
- Increase the rate of high school graduation, with an emphasis on college and career readiness;
- Increase participation in postsecondary education of participating students with an emphasis on college fit and alignment with high-demand fields and sectors of the economy;
- Increase participation in postsecondary education of participating students without need for remedial coursework;
- Increase the rate of college persistence and completion of participating students; and
- Increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing.