Education Week reporter, Caralee Adams reports in her article, “New College Savings Accounts for Disadvantaged Students,” that the U. S. Department of Education has created a way for disadvantaged students to get help paying for their higher education.  The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative will be established from an $8.7 million fund and will provide about 10,000 GEAR UP freshman students will be given $200 in seed money.  Those students will then be able to earn $10 a month that will be matched over the next four years by the government.  This will give those students the chance to save more than $1,000, which must be used for educational expenses, by the time they finish high school.  The facilitators hope that in addition to providing financial assistance, participants will develop good financial habits, and they will monitor the students to see if this kind of assistance is helpful for disadvantaged students.

While there are GEAR UP programs at various institutions of higher learning, view this promotional video for the GEAR UP program at Mira Costa College GEAR UP Program for an overview of how it might work at a location near you:

To find out more about GEAR UP programs in your state, key in “GEAR UP” and the name of your state in the search field of an Internet search engine.  For example, if you want to learn about GEAR UP program locations in Pennsylvania, your search might begin with “GEAR UP Pennsylvania.”

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