Berlin selected for GEAR UP program through the US Department of Education

By Kirstan Knowlton

BERLIN — Students in seventh grade will receive some good news after Berlin was selected as a participant in GEAR UP, a program established through the U.S. Department of Education, which awards scholarship funds for students attending a two- or four-year New Hampshire college.

Still in the beginning stages, parents have not officially been notified about the program, but letters announcing the launch will be released soon.

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education whose mission is to significantly increase the number of low-income middle and high school students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

In total, New Hampshire will receive $1 million per year for six years to award scholarships for up to 505 students currently in grade seven if they attend a two- or four-year college in the state.

The exact scholarship amount for each student has yet to be determined, but it will at least equal the minimum amount for a Pell Grant.

Beyond scholarships, GEAR UP will also provide college readiness activities like college planning, financial aid awareness and early college awareness.

Specific information about the program will be released later this spring. Additional information about GEAR UP can be found on www.gearupnh.org and on the school’s website www.sau3.org.