FARMINGTON — Legislators from Maine are pushing back at a federal government decision to reject a public university’s application for a college prep program grant.

Members of the Maine delegation said the U.S. Department of Education shot down University of Maine at Farmington’s request for a grant for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs for the first time in more than 20 years. The university runs the program in Maine with Readfield company Syntiro and has used it to help thousands of students prepare for college.

The four members of the delegation said the decision by the education department leaves GEAR UP Maine with no funding to continue. GEAR UP is a federal grant program and the lack of funding would leave Maine as one of seven states in the country with no money it, the delegation said.

UMF President Edward Serna said GEAR UP “has transformed the futures of thousands of Maine students by raising their aspirations and preparing them to affordably attend and complete college.”


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