January 28, 2010/GEAR UP Incentive Grants Help Raise College Aspiration, Preparation Levels in Oklahoma
Oklahoma GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has awarded a total of $190,500 in subgrants to nine community- and faith-based organizations across the state. The funds will help students and families prepare for college through programs that provide access to financial aid, localized mentoring and tutoring services, college campus tours, individualized counseling and academic planning,
The organizations are: Believers in Boswell Community Coalition; Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Department of Education, Concho; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Upsilon Omega Chapter, Lawton; Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma City; Prospect Missionary Baptist Church, Oklahoma City; St. John Christian Care Center, Oklahoma City; Star Spencer High School Parent, Teacher, Student Association, Spencer; Community Action Project of Tulsa County; and People Builders, Tulsa.
The subgrantees will work with community partners to expand programs and services that help raise college aspirations and encourage student participation in Oklahoma’s Promise.
Oklahoma GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that helps students and their families prepare for college, awarded the grants through the Raising College Aspirations Community- and Faith-Based Organization (CBO) Incentive Grant Program. The main objective for all subgrantees is to facilitate enrollment in Oklahoma’s Promise, a scholarship program that allows high school students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less and who meet certain academic and conduct requirements to earn free college tuition.
“We want every student who qualifies for Oklahoma’s Promise to have the opportunity to enroll and succeed in the program. That’s why we are providing support at the local level. By working together, we can strengthen college opportunities for many students,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Our combined investments of time, money and care in today’s youth will lead to a more prosperous future, not only for those students, but for all of Oklahoma.”
Since 2005, the GEAR UP “Raising College Aspirations” grant projects with community- and faith-based organizations have involved 30 community organizations, 21 institutions of higher education and 49 public schools. These partnerships have resulted in 4,728 students enrolling in the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program.
“We greatly appreciate our community partners. Their college preparation work with students and families at the local level is commendable,” said Johnson. “Their unfaltering efforts in helping students obtain a college education are vital to the continued growth of our state.”
For more information on GEAR UP or Oklahoma’s Promise, visit www.okhighered.org or call 800.858.1840.
View list of funded program descriptions.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999 and $20.6 million in August 2005. The grants have been matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of the 2005 multi-year, federal grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $45.6 million in federal funds by 2011. GEAR UP receives 49 percent of total funding from the federal government and 51 percent from other organizations.