VSAC awarded $31M federal grant to help students attend college

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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) Tens of millions of federal dollars are coming to Vermont to help students attend college.

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is receiving $31-million over seven years for the GEAR UP program. It provides counseling, scholarships and other assistance to help students prepare for college. VSAC says Vermont's congressional delegation worked to secure the funding, which is only going to six states.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says attending college can change the future of entire families. "The Leahys came to Vermont in the 1850s. I was the first one to get a college degree. My sister was the second one. It works," he said.

"We had to write a near-perfect grant, but there had to be money in the appropriations bill sufficient to award new grants and Sen. Leahy, with the support of the Vermont delegation, was critical to securing that additional funding, said VSAC's Scott Giles.

VSAC says the funding will assist 2,800 Vermont students in 38 schools across the state.