NEWARK, NJ - New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of six colleges in the state receiving additional federal funding to provide academic enrichment opportunities for middle and high schoolers to improve college attendance and success for economically disadvantaged students. 

The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education announced the department was awarded the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant by the U.S. Department of Education. 

New Jersey will receive $35 million in yearly allotments of $5 million for a seven-year period. The funds will be used to provide academic and enrichment support services to increase college attendance and success for economically disadvantaged students.

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“While NJ’s K-12 education system leads the nation, higher education remains out of reach for too many residents,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “The NJ GEAR UP grant will help us continue to build strong partnerships and develop the State’s talent pipelines.”

The NJ GEAR UP State Project will continue building on its success in seven urban cities, each served by a higher education partner: 

  • Atlantic City and Pleasantville - Stockton University
  • Camden - Rowan University
  • Jersey City - New Jersey City University
  • Newark - New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Paterson - Passaic County Community College
  • Penns Grove/Carneys Point - Salem Community College

The OSHE will seek to expand program services to additional cities in the out years of the grant cycle.

Partnering institutions will provide afterschool and Saturday tutoring, summer programming, and test preparation to students in the 7th through 12th grades at select target middle and high schools. 

Institutions will provide counseling, financial aid information, and host college visits to encourage students to obtain a college degree. 

The initiative will also extend services to participants in their first year of attendance at an institution of higher education. 

GEAR UP also provides benefits to teachers through enhanced professional development, as well as families of GEAR UP students through informational campaigns about postsecondary options.

“New Jersey students need early exposure to college. The program has a successful record in New Jersey over the past 20 years, with over 75% of student graduates enroll in college,” said Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis. “We are thrilled that we can continue – and even expand- this critical on-ramp to college.”