Greg Darnieder, the U.S. Secretary of Education's senior advisor on the College Access Initiative, will deliver remarks at the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships/Gear Up Annual Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16-17, in San Francisco. On Tuesday, he will discuss the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and college access. Wednesday's session, "Beyond FAFSA," will focus on college completion with a specific focus on the infrastructure that needs to be built by local education agencies in order to increase that likelihood.
The three-day conference, which began July 14 and will continue through July 17, has brought together grantees of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) discretionary grant program to share best practices and strategies. GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The program provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services such as tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation and financial education at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.
The Obama Administration has taken numerous steps to reform higher education to promote value and affordability, producing the largest investment in student aid since the G.I. Bill.
The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships is a national non-profit organization working to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. The organization advances college access through advocacy, training and research.