Utica, NY (WIBX) - Mohawk Valley Community College announced a new program today aimed at helping Utica City School District students achieve more.

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, or GEAR-UP grant, allows for approximately 650 low-income students to receive extra academic support from seventh grade until graduation.

The 3.1 million dollar grant will help students attending JFK and Donovan Middle Schools boost graduation rates, test scores, and college attendance.

MVCC President, Doctor Randy VanWagoner, says the program may make more low-income students' college dreams come true.

"They just need that extra additional support, and that's what GEAR-UP is really geared to do, is to provide that additional support to let them know that college really is possible with the right wrap around support services," VanWagoner said. "And through all the partnersbe able to do that...

The GEAR UP grant provides nearly 520-thousand dollars per year over the span of six years, and will begin enrolling students later this year.