Gear up | Dorchester County EDA

The US Department of Education awarded Maryland a six-year, $13 million federal grant to prepare, support and follow at-risk students from middle school to high school. Maryland was one of ten states that received the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant.

Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Ed.D. Superintendent of Dorchester County Public Schools (DCPS) said, “The GEAR UP grant targets a cohort of seventh grade students with support services that will follow them for six years. They will also benefit from the extra support in math and English language arts, after school programs, summer academies, and college awareness activities. I am thrilled for the students in DCPS who will most assuredly realize life-altering long term benefits from this program.”

According to the US Department of Education’s website, “Applicants were encouraged to address how they plan to increase postsecondary success, implement college- and career-ready standards, and work in conjunction with Promise Zones – places where the federal government has partnered with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, improve educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime.”

The state grant has two parts – a required activity component and a scholarship component. The required activity component focuses on college financial-aid literacy and encouraging students to enroll and complete academically challenging courses. This component will also walk students through the college admittance process and assist in college visits.

Dorchester County is one of three communities within Maryland where the grant will be administered. Baltimore City and Wicomico County were also included partnership projects.

To learn more about GEAR UP, please visit