Pennsylvania Awarded College Access Challenge Grant to Prepare Students for Higher Education

Sep 12, 2011, 15:30 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania has received more than $3.9 million from the federally-funded College Access Challenge Grant Program, Education Secretary Ron Tomalis announced today.

"This was the first time that a competitive grant process was used to determine the entities that would partner with us to provide services to schools," Tomalis said. "As a result, the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and Project GRAD USA will partner with the Dept. of Education this year to deliver college access services to 48 schools across the Commonwealth."

Pennsylvania has received CACGP grants since 2008. They are designed to bring together government entities and philanthropic organizations to increase the number of low-income high school students applying, enrolling in and completing a post-secondary program.

The 2011-12 CACGP grant will allow the PDE and its partners to continue to build on the programs and accomplishments of the previous three grant cycles. Students will get assistance completing college and financial aid applications. They will also have access to financial aid workshops.

"Preparing for college can be a daunting task for students and their families, especially if a student is the first in their family to pursue a higher education," Tomalis said. "The College Access Challenge Grant Program has provided the Pennsylvania Department of Education with the resources to help thousands of students across the Commonwealth apply for college and financial assistance."

Low-income schools, which receive college preparation services funded by CACGP grants, are determined by PDE based on the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Project GRAD USA is a national nonprofit organization focused on ensuring quality education for economically disadvantaged students. It provides assistance to 11 high schools in Pennsylvania. PHEAA will deliver college access services to 18 junior and senior high schools across the state and PSU will provide services to 18 high schools and one charter school.  

Last year, Pennsylvania received $4.1 million from CACGP and in partnership with PHEAA and GRAD USA, was able to provide direct services to more than 7,000 students. In addition, more than 300 financial aid workshops were held for students and their families resulting in more than 800 completed Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and 1,640 college application completions.

Media contact:  Tim Eller, 717-783-9802

Editor's Note: Below is the list of PDE's partner organizations and the schools that will receive services through CACGP.

GRAD USA:
Chester High School – Chester-Upland School District, Delaware County
Clairton High School – Clairton City School District, Allegheny County
McCaskey High School – Lancaster School District, Lancaster County
Roxborough High School – Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Sayre High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
South Philadelphia High School – Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Stephen A. Douglas High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Strawberry Mansion High School – Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Vaux High School – Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Woodland Hills High School – Woodland Hills School District, Allegheny County
William Penn High SchoolYork City School District, York County

PHEAA:
New Castle Jr. and Sr. High School – New Castle Area School District, Lawrence County
East High School – Erie City School District, Erie County
Southern Fulton Jr. and Sr. High School – Southern Fulton School District, Fulton County
Mahanoy Area High School – Mahanoy Area School District, Schuylkill County
Sto-Rox High School – Sto-Rox School District, Allegheny County
Columbia Jr. and Sr. High School – Columbia Borough School District, Lancaster County
Williamsport Area High School – Williamsport Area School District, Lycoming County
Shamokin Area High School – Shamokin Area School District, Northumberland County
Louis E. Dieruff High SchoolAllentown City School District, Lehigh County
Towanda Area High SchoolTowanda Area School District, Bradford County
North Penn Jr. and Sr. High School – Southern Tioga School District, Tioga County
Fannett-Metal High School – Fannett-Metal School District, Franklin County
Steelton-Highspire High School – Steelton-Highspire School District, Dauphin County
Clairton High School – Clairton City School District, Allegheny County
McKeesport Area High School – McKeesport Area School District, Allegheny County
Sharon High School – Sharon City School District, Mercer County
Conneaut Valley High School – Conneaut School District, Crawford County
Frazier High School – Frazier School District, Fayette County

PSU:
Aliquippa High School – Aliquippa School District, Beaver County
Avon Grove High School – Avon Grove School District, Chester County
Thomas Edison High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Farrell Area High School – Farrell Area School District, Mercer County
Furness High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Germantown High School – Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Gettysburg Area High School – Gettysburg Area School District, Adams County
Harrisburg High School – Harrisburg City School District, Dauphin County
Hazleton Area High SchoolHazleton Area School District, Luzerne County
Kennett High School – Kennett Consolidated School District, Chester County
Martin Luther King High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
McKeesport Area High School – McKeesport Area School District, Allegheny County
New Castle High School – New Castle Area School District, Lawrence County
New Hope Academy Charter School – York County
Olney West High SchoolPhiladelphia City School District, Philadelphia County
Reading High School – Reading School District, Berks County
Sharon High School – Sharon City School District, Mercer County
Steelton-Highspire High School – Steelton-Highspire School District, Dauphin County
Valley High School – New Kensington-Arnold School District, Westmoreland County

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education



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