Three N.M. colleges receiving federal funding

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman,D-N.M., announced that three New Mexico colleges will receive federal funding to encourage more minority students to pursue a postsecondary education.

Bingaman said Clovis Community College will receive $516,000; Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell will receive $1.376 million; and New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas will receive $563,558. It is expected that each school will receive similar grants for a total of six years.

The funds are awarded through GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which is a U.S. Department of Education initiative.

“The strength of our economy rests on our ability to improve educational opportunities for young people,” Bingaman said. “Yet, right now in our country, only 68 percent of all students graduate high school on time with a regular diploma. Graduation rates drop down to 50 percent if the student is Hispanic, African American, Native American, has a disability, or is male. This is a national problem, and resolving it should be a priority.”

GEAR UP was first created in 1998 and was designed to promote student achievement and access to postsecondary education among low-income students. Since that time, nationally, GEAR UP grants have served over a million students per year.