November 22, 2021

After Manchin, Capito Efforts, WV GEAR UP Gains Full Use Of $24 Million TO Support 17,500 High-Need Students In West Virginia

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today applauded the resolution of an issue with the U.S. Department of Education and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission about the recent Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (WV GEAR UP) funding award. West Virginia GEAR UP will now be able to utilize the full $24 million award over the next seven years to serve 17,500 West Virginia high-need students and prepare them to pursue higher education.  
“Ensuring every West Virginian has the opportunity to pursue higher education continues to be one of my top priorities. West Virginia GEAR UP works tirelessly to support West Virginia students, parents and teachers as they prepare for higher education. After Senator Capito and I urged Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to address an issue with the West Virginia GEAR UP award, the program will now be able to fully utilize $24 million over the next seven years to serve more than 17,500 high-need West Virginia students. This is great news for our students, and I will keep fighting to help every West Virginian receive the quality, affordable education they need to be competitive in the 21st Century,” said Senator Manchin.
“I’m glad to see the Department of Education has followed through on our request to grant the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission with the waiver needed to properly serve thousands of West Virginia GEAR UP students. With this waiver, the awarded funding will help prepare our students for educational success at the postsecondary level, providing them with the foundation to thrive in a variety of careers,” Senator Capito said.
In September 2021, Senators Manchin and Capito announced $3,500,000 per year for the next seven years from the U.S. Department of Education to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission GEAR UP program, however there were concerns around the ability to meet certain requirements of the program in order to receive a waiver and utilize the full breadth of the award for student success services. In October 2021, Senators Manchin and Capito wrote to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to resolve this concern that could have prevented West Virginia GEAR UP from serving these West Virginia students.
“We are tremendously grateful to Senator Manchin and Senator Capito for making sure all of our newest GEAR UP students can receive college-planning services that will benefit them for a lifetime,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “With a lot of dedicated work by our team and so many partners, West Virginia is fortunate to have received our fourth GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education this year. We are forever thankful for this incredible support. Our team is already hard at work under the new award, which will allow us to help more than 17,500 students over the next seven years. We look forward to seeing them achieve their college and career dreams.”