SPARK Grant Gives Students Opportunity to Participate in Five-Year College Prep Program

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PWCS, SPARK

Provided by PWCS

SPARK, the education foundation for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), is excited to have the opportunity to support the George Mason University (GMU) Early Identification Program (EIP) through a Google grant. This grant from the Tides Foundation will provide $55,000, affording 20 additional PWCS students the opportunity to be enrolled in the five-year program that helps prepare students who will be the first in their family to attend college.

In partnership with George Mason University, PWCS admits 30 students into the Early Identification Program each year. This year, nearly 50 students were admitted to the program due to the grant.

“We are honored and grateful for the additional financial support received to increase the number of students participating in this proven program — a program that has a 95% success rate of students attending college. We hope this is just the beginning of securing additional financial support to continue to increase the number of PWCS students who can participate and benefit from this highly effective program,” said Dr. Anaid Shaver, supervisor of college and career services for PWCS.

Students in the EIP receive support to help them navigate through middle and high school and the post-secondary college plan process. Students begin the program in their eighth-grade year and continue through their senior year in high school. Students who complete the EIP and graduate from high school with a 3.2 grade point average (GPA) or better and meet the admission requirements of George Mason are automatically accepted to the university. Students who earn a 3.5 GPA or higher are eligible to apply for the EIP scholarship (four years of full tuition covered/paid).

The program includes mentoring, tutoring, supplemental STEM opportunities, family seminars, summer academic enrichment, an annual leadership conference, and so much more. It becomes a true partnership between the students and their families, GMU and PWCS.

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