Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

GEAR UP Facing Critism

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

GEAR UP Facing Critism

Article excerpt

Congressional sponsors of the 2-year-old Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs have beaten back attempts to terminate the initiative, but prospects for future funding growth may be dimming.

House and Senate negotiators in late July rejected White House recommendations to increase funding for the program from $200 million to $325 million. Instead, Republican leaders would freeze funding at the current level, a move that, if enacted, may hamper administration efforts to offer new grants under the program. Twenty-one states and nearly 200 local partnerships received funds in the first round of grant awards last summer.

Since thattime, however, the program has come under criticism on several fronts, particularly from financial aid administrators who call the program's regulations cumbersome. GEAR UP's goal is to help middle-school youth prepare for college, and the program also contains a scholarship provision for these youth once they reach higher education. …

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