New York state is receiving $28 million in federal aid for a seven-year program meant to prepare low-income students for college, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced. 

The money is expected to aid more than 6,200 students under the GEAR UP program, a seven-year program that starts in middle school and runs through freshman year of college. 

"My administration is committed to expanding equitable access to higher education for all of New York's students," Hochul said. "By providing resources to students from low-income households, we are eliminating barriers to a postsecondary education and ensuring all New Yorkers have the tools needed to thrive. Setting our students up for success will help put them at the greatest competitive advantage in our state, nation, and beyond."

The program is also meant to boost career readiness for students and provide services to parents and guardians with professional development for teachers, counselors and administrators. 

New York is one of only two states to receive GEAR UP funding from the Department of Education in 2022. The money will be administered by he New York State Higher Education Services Corp. along with SUNY, CUNY and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. 

"The New York State GEAR UP program has helped put postsecondary education within reach for thousands of New York students, and I am thrilled that New York has received this award so that more underrepresented students can receive the support they need to attend and succeed at a higher education," New York State Higher Education Services President Guillermo Linares said. "We must continue to pave the path to college for low-income students who face inequities that are barriers to a higher education."