Metro Schools Receives $13.4 Million GEAR UP Grant to Prepare Students for Postsecondary Success

Metro Schools Receives $13.4 Million GEAR UP Grant to Prepare Students for Postsecondary Success
Posted on 10/01/2018
Metro Schools Receives $13.4 Million GEAR UP Grant

Nashville, Tennessee - (October 1, 2018) - Metro Nashville Public Schools announced today that it has been awarded a $13.4 million GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant over the next seven years.

This federal college access grant is awarded through the U. S. Department of Education and is a matching grant in which community partners have agreed to provide dollar-for-dollar support up to approximately $26.9 million from year one to year seven. The grant will focus on providing services to students and families with the aim of increasing enrollment and success in postsecondary education.

The grant will serve a cohort of 6th and 7th grade high-need students who would fall into the category of first-generation college students and will follow these students for seven years until the 7th grade class enters postsecondary. A total of 10 MNPS middle schools will participate in the grant. These schools serve a high population of socio-economically disadvantaged students, and are feeders into high schools in which college attendance rates are lower than the district average. The middle schools include Antioch, Apollo, Gra-Mar, Jere Baxter, John Early, Margaret Allen, McMurray, Moses McKissack, Stratford STEM and Wright.

“We are excited about receiving this $13.4 million federal grant to continue the progress we are making in preparing students for college. It is going to greatly benefit students within the district,” said Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS director of schools. “We are seeing more students completing advanced academic courses and dual enrollment opportunities, and this will help us to deepen that participation even before a student gets to high school. We believe this will help even more students and families envision postsecondary education as a real possibility.”

Each year, MNPS will receive $1.9 million of the grant funds. Among the goals and objectives include providing college access services that inform students about the financial aid process, offers college visits, engages them in summer enrichment opportunities, supports expanded dual enrollment, tutoring and other classroom initiatives.

More than a dozen partners signed on in support of the project and were identified because of existing services provided to Metro Schools in the areas of literacy and college preparation. These partners will assist with summer camps, host college visits, and provide mentors to students, among other services. Partners include Belmont University, Lipscomb University, Nashville State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Nashville, Conexion Americas, Martha O'Bryan Center, Nashville Technology Council, Oasis Center, Opportunity NOW, Project LIT, Southern Word, Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS), Tennessee College Access and Success Network, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.


Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation's top 50 largest school districts, preparing 88,000 students for higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville families, Metro Schools is committed to #ExceedingGreatExpectations with the mission of delivering a great public education to every student, every day. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook /MetroSchools.

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