Shippensburg University is expanding its impact on students across the Commonwealth as the new lead institution selected for the PA State GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant program.  Funded by the United States Department of Education, GEAR UP assists underserved school districts with helping students’ dreams of going to college become reality. The program  provides academic, college, career and financial aid support along with teacher professional development and student and parent workshops. The grant uses a cohort model focused on current seventh grade students and will support them through their first year of college.  

Pennsylvania, with Ship serving as grant administrator, was one of four states in the nation selected for the latest round of funding. The seven-year grant provides approximately $3.1 million per year and $21.5 million total over the life of the grant.   

“We have a unique opportunity to assist with the grant’s mission of creating a college-going culture for students and families in economically underserved areas,” said Katrina Eady, project director for the Shippensburg University GEAR UP program. 

Each school district awarded a grant is also tasked with developing partnerships with local businesses, communication organizations and higher education institutions. 

“Students who are prepared for college become students who graduate from college and are prepared for the Pennsylvania work force. Shippensburg University is poised to ensure GEAR UP grant funding reaches middle school and high school students to create sustainable forward momentum for students in underserved districts,” said Shippensburg University President Charles E. Patterson.