During the January 17, 2023, Meridian Public School District’s monthly meeting, Mandy Scarpulla, Project Director for GEAR UP MS, spoke to the board regarding the success GEAR Up has seen at Meridian High School.
According to Scarpulla, Gear Up is really pushing students to graduate high school and also have success in college. One of the goals of GEAR UP is to have students sign up for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“Meridian has been phenomenal in getting those students to sign up for the FAFSA,” said Scarpulla. “So, when students sign up for the FAFSA they are more likely to go to college. So Meridian is doing great things in getting those seniors to complete the FAFSA.”
Over the past four years, MHS students signing up for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has doubled.
“Once students complete the FAFSA and enter college, they then are given a GEAR Up Scholarship that is $1,750 for the first two semesters they are in college and we are looking to increase that scholarship to last into their second year of their college too,” said Scarpulla.
GEAR UP MS is a federal grant that is allowed to students across the country. Meridian is one of three high schools in Mississippi that work specifically with GEAR UP MS.