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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 7, 1999
                           IN GEAR UP GRANTS

                             August 7, 1999

Today, President Clinton announced $120 million in GEAR UP grants to 21 states and 164 partnerships of colleges and middle schools across the country. These grants will serve more than 200,000 disadvantaged children, encouraging them to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard, and take the right courses to go to college. Forty states and Puerto Rico, Guam and Micronesia will receive either a State or Partnership grant. Interest in GEAR UP far exceeded available funding, providing a strong justification for the President's request to double funding for GEAR UP in FY2000. The President called on Congress to fully fund this request and meet the urgent need.

Interest in GEAR UP Far Exceeded Available Funding:

GEAR UP Builds Pathways to College: GEAR UP provides multi-year competitive grants to States and to local partnerships between colleges, low-income middle schools and high schools, and at least two other organizations, such as businesses, community based, religious, or parent organizations, and student groups. The GEAR UP grants will fund partnerships involving more than 1,000 organizations, such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H programs, Salvation Army, libraries, arts organizations, local chambers of commerce, and individual companies such as Wal-Mart, Unisys, Hewlett-Packard, Bell Atlantic, and the New York Times Newspaper in Education Program.

GEAR UP differs from, but complements, existing federal programs by:

Gear Up Is Based On Proven Models: GEAR UP is based on the experience of existing programs, both large and small, that have proven results. Existing programs, such as I Have a Dream and Project GRAD, demonstrate the success of incorporating the concepts of partnerships, school reform and scholarships into early intervention. These programs have helped significantly improve low-income student test scores, and high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

For more information about GEAR UP, visit the GEAR UP web site (

GEAR UP Is Based On Proven Models

August 7, 1999

GEAR UP is based on the experience of existing programs, both large and small, that have proven results. Many of the existing programs combine the core components of GEAR UP Partnership grants: beginning early and following entire grades of students over time; challenging the students and schools to have high expectations; involving parents; providing mentoring, tutoring and information about college; typically strengthening the schools with professional development and more rigorous core courses; and often providing college scholarships. Below are some of the dramatic results these programs have produced.

Project GRAD - Project GRAD, a comprehensive college-school-community partnership focused on improving inner-city education, combines the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students, business and community leaders to provide students with the curricular, counseling and scholarship opportunities that bring college within reach. Using seed money from the Ford Foundation, Project GRAD serves 18,000 students in 25 low-income public schools in Houston and has produced dramatic results on a large scale, including:

I Have a Dream (IHAD) - IHAD provides an entire grade of low-income students with a comprehensive set of services, including intensive mentoring and academic support and an early guarantee that their college tuition will be paid for by a combination of public and private resources. Results include:

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