Athens, WV (WOAY) – Concord University is receiving a federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs(GEAR UP) partnership grant for seven years totaling more than $20 million (about $2.9 million per year). In partnership with New River Community and Technical College, Concord will support Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming County students.
The goals of the GEAR UP program include increasing academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education, increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates, and increasing GEAR UP students and their families knowledge of college preparation and financing.
The U.S. Department of Education provides the discretionary grant program and serves a cohort of students starting in the seventh grade into their first year of college.
According to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, southern West Virginia rates are lower than the state average of 45.9 percent. The college-going rate has fallen almost ten percentage points over the last decade.