Students from Grand Rapids Public Schools will get extra help preparing for college thanks to a federal grant awarded to Grand Valley State University.
The $52,433 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, announced Thursday, will fund GVSU’s GEAR UP program, which provides tutoring, mentoring, workshops and assistance obtaining financial aid, according to GVSU.
GEAR UP – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – is a national program and all of Michigan’s 15 public universities have a GEAR UP program.
Bobby Jo Springer, associate director of GVSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, which oversees the program, said the grant will help seventh grade students.
“They automatically became part of the GEAR UP program when they started seventh grade this year,” he said. “We will follow them through high school and their first year of college, and provide experiences along the way to help them succeed in the classroom and gain skills necessary to be a college graduate.”
As part of the program, Grand Rapids Public School’s Class of 2017 will tour the campus at the end of the current school year. And this summer, students will spend a few days at GVSU and visit other universities throughout the state.
“The goal of the program is to get the students to attend college,” Springer said in a statement. “Receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree opened up so many doors for me, and I just know what it can do for them.”