Federal Program Helping Families Prepare for Cost of College - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Federal Program Helping Families Prepare for Cost of College

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According to the National Standard for Education Statistics, over the past ten years, the cost of tuition at a four year public institution has risen about $7,000.

Gear Up stands for gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs. The program's been up and running for eleven years. They currently work in 18 Nevada middle schools, where 50 percent of students apply for free and reduced lunch.

As you might imagine, coming up with money for college isn't easy for many of these kids.

"I think just encouraging them to apply for the scholarships, encouraging them to understand the difference between a grant a loan and a scholarship and helping them figure out the difference between in state and out of state tuition and public and private colleges will go a long way in making good financial decisions," said Gear Up Alumni Leader Katie Hill.

Gear up provides academic tutoring, financial literacy, college tours, even parent engagement programs.

Gear up is federally funded. States, like Nevada, can apply for the program.

Hill said the program is growing because a lot of families don't even know where to start.

"It's kind of like what is college? A lot of them haven't been to college campuses. We are in a lot of rural schools's, so they kids are far away from any college campus," said Hill. "They don't know what college is all about, so their questions are why do I care, why should I be interested? Then, once they are interested, it's how do I get there?"

To see the entire interview watch Face the Stats. The show airs Saturday at 4:30 in the morning and Sunday at 6:30am.

Written by Chris Ciarlo

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