If you are moving to Lafayette and you have children who will be entering into middle school, you may want to apply for the federal GEAR UP grant. The grant will provide middle school students with experiences that will prepare them academically and socially for college.
A $13.8 million grant was awarded to the Lafayette Parish School System and if your child receives the GEAR UP grant, the services will follow them through middle school and high school, to the first year of college.
Middle and high school students will have access to in-school and special summer learning programs, including campus visits to participating colleges; such as: UL-Lafayette and South Louisiana Community College. The grant became effective during late 2014 and 2,100 sixth and seventh graders will receive the GEAR UP grant for spring.
Middle schools that have been targeted for students to receive the grant are: Acadian, Carencro, Judice, Lafayette, Paul Breauz, and Scott Middle School.
The GEAR UP program was established in 1998, in hopes that less fortunate children would be able to have the opportunity to go to college, many of whom come from families where no one has been able to go to college. According to Alex Chough, vice president of government relations for the National Council for Community and Education Partnership, GEAR UP’s mission has now shifted away from making college more accessible, and towards preparing students academically and socially, so that they can make the necessary grades throughout middle school and high school in order to make it into college and be successful there as well.
According to GEAR UP’s statistics, 75.3 percent of participants enroll in college.