Fattah Adds Financial Piece to GEAR UP

GEAR UP Students Get Financial Help For College with new demonstration project

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), creator of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP), the nation’s largest and most successful college readiness and access program, recognized the Department of Education (ED) for the creation of the College Savings Account Research Demonstration Project designed to help low-income students and their parents save for college.

The test project will allot more than $8.5 million to establish and fund college savings accounts for 10,000 GEAR UP students to determine if dedicated savings will increase a student’s likelihood of college attendance.

Congressman Fattah was joined by Undersecretary Martha Kanter at ED along with a recognized panel of experts at the New America Foundation’s forum on Financing College Access to share GEAR UP’s national success and underscore the importance of innovative programs and projects designed to ensure students achieve academic success.

Fattah said, “I am excited that GEAR UP is going to play such an important role in this new venture. The economic future of the country rests in the minds of American students currently attending high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP and this College Savings Accounts Project will embed in these young minds the fundamental expectations needed to form college going cultures that will ensure individual and national economic success.”

Congressman Fattah and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del) are sponsors of “The American Dream Accounts Act of 2012” a measure that would establish secure web-based accounts for students that tracks their college readiness, contains information about academic preparedness, financial literacy and high-impact mentoring and would be tied to a college savings account.

Since being signed into law, GEAR UP has assisted 12 million low-income and underserved students. Almost $4 billion in federal resources has been directed to GEAR UP programs in 49 states and U.S. territories to make certain the students are well prepared for college.