Fact Sheet: Why Gear Up Is Important for America's Youth
|                                                                         |
|                                                                         |
|              WHY GEAR UP IS IMPORTANT FOR AMERICA?S YOUTH               |
|                           September 12, 2000                            |
|                                                                         |

GEAR UP is Creating College Opportunities for At-Risk Youth.
?    Enacted in 1998, GEAR UP funds partnerships of high-poverty middle
schools, colleges and universities, community organizations, and business
to work with entire grade levels of students.  The partnerships provide
tutoring, mentoring, information on college preparation and financial aid,
an emphasis on core academic preparation and, in some cases, scholarships.
?    GEAR UP works with students starting in 7th grade or earlier through
high school graduation because research shows that students taking
challenging courses (including algebra) in middle school are much more
likely to succeed in high school and go on to college.
?    In its first year, GEAR UP served nearly 450,000 students nationwide.
Over 1,000 organizations are GEAR UP partners, including colleges and
universities, libraries, arts organizations, local chambers of commerce,
the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Wal-Mart, Unisys, and the New York Times
Education Program.  Next academic year, GEAR UP will serve 700,000 students
and President Clinton has requested $325 million in FY 2001 to serve 1.3
million children.

The College Opportunity Gap Is Real.
?    Only 47 percent of low-income high school graduates immediately enroll
in college or trade school, compared to 82 percent of high-income students.
(National Center for Education Statistics, Condition of Education 1999)
?    Only 18 percent of African-Americans and 19 percent of Hispanic high
school graduates in their late twenties have earned a bachelor?s degree,
compared to 35 percent of whites.  (NCES, Condition of Education 1999)
?    The opportunity gap persists regardless of academic preparation:  22
percent of college-qualified high school graduates with low family incomes
don?t pursue post-secondary education, compared to only 4 percent of
high-income graduates. (NCES, Access to Postsecondary Education for 1992
High School Graduates.)

GEAR  UP?s  Approach Is Unique among Federal Programs.  GEAR UP complements
existing federal programs by:
?    Starting earlier. GEAR UP partnerships start no later than 7th grade
because research shows that students who take challenging course work in
middle school, including algebra, are far more likely to succeed in high
school and college.
?    Staying with children through high school graduation.  GEAR UP
provides long-term mentoring over a period of six or more years, helping
children stay on track, and often providing scholarships when they reach
?    Transforming schools.  GEAR UP partnerships work with entire grades of
students to transform their schools.  Services include mentoring, tutoring,
strengthening curriculum, teacher professional development, summer and
after-school academic and enrichment programs, and college visits.
?    Supporting college scholarships. Some GEAR UP partnerships provide
college scholarships, which research shows to be particularly important in
preventing drop-outs among low-income students.
?    Leveraging local resources.  GEAR UP encourages colleges and other
community organizations to partner with low-income middle schools and
leverages non-federal resources with a one-for-one match requirement.
?    Bolstering state efforts. GEAR UP also supports state early college
preparation and scholarship efforts.

GEAR  UP  is  Modeled  on  Proven Programs. Evaluation research on existing
programs demonstrates the value of and the need for the GEAR UP approach.
?    I Have a Dream ("IHAD") provides entire grades of low-income students
with intensive mentoring, academic support, and a promise of public and
private aid for college tuition.  Roughly 75 percent of Chicago IHAD
students in the class of 1996 graduated from high school, as did only 37
percent of students in the control group.
?    Project GRAD is a college-school-community partnership to improve
inner-city education.  Students receive curricular, counseling, and
scholarship opportunities to bring college within reach.  Project GRAD has
produced dramatic results on a large scale.  The percentage of middle
school students passing the Texas statewide math test has tripled from 21
percent in 1995 to 63 percent in 1998.  The number of students graduating
from one Project GRAD high school increased by 64 percent between 1988 and
1998, while the overall district number declined by 7 percent, and five
times more students are going to college.

                                   # # #

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E