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MCC Grant Helps Students GEAR UP

January 13, 2019

Middlesex Community College has received a seven-year $2,583,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to continue funding GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), its highly successful college awareness and scholarship program.

The grant is part of a recent $29.7 million statewide grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding GEAR UP at 16 schools in seven urban districts across Massachusetts for the next seven years.

Now in its 19th year, GEAR UP Massachusetts provides 6,300 middle-school and high-school students and their families with assistance in the college search and application process, SAT test preparation, financial counseling and academic support services intended to help students arrive on campus prepared to succeed in credit-bearing course work.

Middlesex will receive $369,000 annually to continue providing academic, cultural, college and career services to 900 local low-income, high-achieving students, said Colleen Winn, MCC’s director of Pre-Collegiate TRiO Programs and GEAR UP Massachusetts.

“Thanks to this grant, we will keep providing students at Lowell’s Pyne Arts Middle School and Lowell High School with an array of services that help them pursue a college education and gain admission to the most selective colleges,” Winn said.

Local GEAR UP students will also continue to have an opportunity to be nominated for life-changing scholarships from the Posse Foundation and Questbridge, she added.

“The seven years I was in GEAR UP at Middlesex definitely helped me shape the person that I am today,” said Kara Danas, now a senior English Literature major at UMass Lowell and recipient of $3,000 in GEAR UP scholarships. “I credit GEAR UP with showing me how to reach my full potential, and the wonderful guidance I received is most definitely a large reason why I am a dedicated and hard-working university student today.”

For more information about GEAR UP Massachusetts at MCC, contact Winn at winnc@ middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3401.

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