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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 6, 2000


I applaud today's announcement of the Pathways to College Network, an important partnership that will complement our GEAR UP and TRIO initiatives by helping to put disadvantaged students on track to a college education. While more and more Americans are enrolling in college, too many disadvantaged students in America still lack the support, resources, motivation, and high expectations that they need to succeed.

In today's information economy, education may be the best investment of a lifetime. Over the past eight years, we have made the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill by increasing Pell grants and creating the Hope Scholarship, the Lifetime Learning tax credit, and direct student loans. To help more disadvantaged students get on track for college success, we created the GEAR UP initiative and expanded resources for TRIO.

The Pathways to College Network will build on our effort to expand college opportunities by researching successful programs and using the results to help students across the country. I salute the commitment made by six prominent foundations including the Ford and Gates Foundations, leading non-profit groups dedicated to college opportunity, and Secretary of Education Riley. The Network recognizes that elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, and communities must work together if we are to successfully address this issue. There is no higher priority than continuing to work to ensure that all Americans have access to a quality education.