State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today announced that the state has approved funding for a program administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to increase access to higher education for middle and high school students in the Marion Local School District. 

The "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs" (GEAR UP) grant provides low-income, minority, and economically disadvantaged students with the necessary support and resources to go to college despite the challenges they may face in their communities.

“It is important to me that Marion is included in this program, because not only do we have great resources in our K-12 system, but we also have higher education and technical education opportunities available as well,” said Burke. “This program will help our students find a pathway to a brighter future in my hometown.”

Ohio’s GEAR UP statewide project is focused on embedding a college-going culture in targeted schools and communities to increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The project's goals reflect a commitment to eliminate major college access barriers for priority students to increase: academic performance; preparation for postsecondary education; rates of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education; and students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation and financing.

Marion Local is one of four Ohio schools to participate in GEAR UP consortia which provide direct services and scholarship funding support to priority students. Other schools to receive funding include Norwood City Schools, Parma City Schools and Crooksville Local Schools. 

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