October 20, 2011/Oklahoma Receives Third Consecutive Multi-Million Federal Grant to Prepare Students and Families for College


Oklahoma will continue to provide important services and information that helps students and their families better prepare for college thanks to a multi-year federal GEAR UP grant totaling $34.9 million, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have announced.

This is Oklahoma’s third consecutive GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The new grant will provide $4.9 million in 2011-2012 and $34.9 million over the next seven years to continue college preparation programs that strengthen learning and increase student achievement across Oklahoma.

GEAR UP, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal grant program designed to help middle and high school students better prepare for college.

"The announcement that Oklahoma has received its third GEAR UP grant is welcome news at a time when Governor Fallin and other state leaders are pushing hard to increase the number of college graduates in our state,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “This grant is a strong statement from our national education leaders that Oklahoma is making significant progress and is on the right track in helping our students and families better prepare for college.”

The USDE awarded Oklahoma its first multi-year GEAR UP grant totaling $20.5 million in Aug. 1999. The grant was supplemented with a one-year extension of $4.4 million in 2004. The state received another multi-year grant totaling $20.6 million in Aug. 2005.
The grants were matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. The successful administration of the previous grants was a huge plus in the selection process for a third grant award. With the addition of the 2011 award, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $80.4 million in federal funds by 2018 to help students better prepare for college.

The state grant will target education and direct student services locally to 23 rural school districts and 21,170 students in seventh through 12th grade. GEAR UP will also continue to provide statewide student services such as the Student Information Hotline, OKcollegestart and GEAR UP websites and continual promotion of the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship Program.

Oklahoma was one of 19 states selected from 34 applicants to receive a GEAR UP state grant. Other states selected include: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For more information about Oklahoma GEAR UP, visit okhighered.org/gearup or call 800.858.1840.

View GEAR UP Q&A Sheet (PDF, 1.5m)

GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, helps prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs and scholarships for students, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999, $20.6 million in August 2005 and $34.9 million in September 2011. The grants have been matched by more than $48 million from state and partner resources. From 1999 to 2011, GEAR UP received more than $45.6 million in federal funds. With the addition of the 2011 grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $80.6 million in federal funds by 2018.

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