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“GO” To Fund Grants, Promote Scholarships To Increase Graduation

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Program Also To Fund Local “GO” Centers

Atlanta — April 5, 2005

Fueled by the momentum of the February kickoff of “Education. GO Get It,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas Meredith today announced the next steps the program will take to foster local community involvement in increasing high-school graduation and college enrollment in the state.

“Education. GO Get It.”, also known as “GO,” is the name of the new statewide public/private partnership aimed at improving Georgia’s high-school graduation rates and increasing the number of Georgians who earn a college degree. The program will use a broad range of innovative solutions to tackle these two key educational challenges, including public awareness campaigns, grassroots outreach, and an expansive partnership network.

Georgia’s current high-school graduation rate hovers around 64 percent, and only 28 percent of the state’s 18-24 year olds enroll in college. The participating partners in the “GO” alliance aim to boost the enrollment rate of these traditional college-aged students to 48 percent by the year 2020, resulting in an additional 192,000 students entering Georgia’s colleges and universities in the next 15 years.

“Education. GO Get It.” officials have created several vehicles to encourage students to pursue their education beyond high school. The tools are designed for use by local-level partners throughout the state committed to helping students reach their potential through education. Included among the offerings are student scholarships, mini-grants for community organizations to work with young people on a local level, “GO” information kits and training modules, and resources to establish local “GO Centers.”

“GO seeks to make high-school graduation a ‘given’ for all students in Georgia,” Chancellor Meredith stated. “We want them to be in a position to ask which of our state’s colleges, universities, or technical colleges they will attend – not if they will attend. With the materials and resources available through ‘GO,’ we hope to make this the new reality for Georgia’s students.”

Meredith today announced the details of the following “Education. GO Get It.” initiatives that are being made available to help achieve the program’s goals:

GO Scholarships:
“Education. GO Get It.” officials recognize that financial hurdles – whether perceived or real – are obstacles that prevent students from pursuing an education. To combat this, “GO” is promoting scholarships made available by participating corporate partners, for students in the sixth through twelfth grades. These scholarships are aimed at planting the seed early with students and their parents that high-school graduation is a critical step toward post-secondary education and that money is available to help them achieve their college-attendance goals.

GO Mini-Grants:
Through a brand new mini-grant program, “Education. GO Get It.” officials are making competitively awarded funds available to organizations that support the goals of improving high-school graduation and college enrollment rates. These grants provide incentives to parents and students to attend community-based activities, or to attend presentations on how to use tools such as “GO” Mentoring Kits.

GO Kits:
“Education. GO Get It.” has created “GO Kits” – easy-to-use, age- appropriate training modules for parents, mentors, and volunteers – to use with students ranging from pre-kindergarten through the twelfth grade. “GO Kits” re-enforce the message that high school graduation and a college education are desirable and achievable. “GO Kits” cover everything from how to succeed academically in high school, to preparing and finding money for college.

GO Centers:
In order to be a powerful force for educational revitalization on a local level, “Education. GO Get It.” officials are establishing “GO Centers” throughout the state, with the participation of local community and civic entities. Simple and flexible to establish, a “GO Center” is a school, library, or other local organization that administers programs and projects designed to help students in the community graduate from high school and enroll in college.

Those interested in applying for a “GO” scholarship or mini-grant, or in securing additional information about “GO” resources, may call 1-866-GO-4-GRAD, or access the program’s website at: http://www.georgiaGO.org.

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