Congressman Fattah Says GEAR UP Week is Perfect Timing for President Obama's College Affordability Plan

Oct 26, 2011, 14:26 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), who guided to passage the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs initiative more than a decade ago, issues the following statement upon the occasion of National GEAR UP Week Oct. 24-28:


"President Obama's announcement that his Administration will make college more affordable for millions of young Americans is particularly timely and appropriate today - the midpoint of GEAR UP Week.

"GEAR UP - Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs - provides critical information, resources and incentive for precisely the low-income student population that ultimately will be among the beneficiaries of the President's new 'Pay as You Earn' policy to ease the burden of student loan repayment.

"This is the week that we salute the currently enrolled students and celebrate the alumni of GEAR UP everywhere. Twelve million young people in public schools coast to coast have been impacted by the program since its launch in 1999.

"As the architect of GEAR UP, my signature achievement in Congress, I commend and thank our 'Education President' for today's initiative. It's simply the latest - and by no means the last -- in a series of forward looking policies that have included federal grants and tax credits to make college more affordable. Every one of these programs advances President Obama's goal of higher education or training for every American -- with an eye toward winning the future in the competitive global economy."

BACKGROUND: GEAR UP is a program for students from sixth through 12th grades in high schools, and their feeder schools, with a significant enrollment of low-income students. GEAR UP prepares students for post high school education and training, provides financial aid information and resources, counsels parents and guardians on their role in the process, while providing on-going incentive to stay in school among those who are most at risk of dropping out. The program has provided more than $3.6 billion in federal resources for GEAR UP in 49 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories.

Congressman Fattah will be celebrating GEAR UP Week at South Philadelphia High School Friday Oct. 28 at 9 a.m.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah