A $3 million grant to the Evergreen State College from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be used to support student retention, expand scholarship fundraising capabilities, and create an endowed scholarship fund for low-income students at risk of failing to complete their degrees.
The multi-year grant will:
- Establish an endowed scholarship fund that will increase support for low-income students that are at risk of dropping out of college ($1.5 million);
- Support creative approaches to curricular development and academic and career advising that will facilitate student retention and success ($250,000); and
- Provide funding to increase Evergreen’s capacity to attract new benefactors supporting scholarships and other needs on campus as the college gears up to celebrate 40 years of teaching and learning in 2011-12 ($1.25 million.)
Evergreen has a long tradition of serving a diverse population of students, including many that are the first in their families to attend college and many in financial distress or with few economic resources.
The grant will endow a scholarship fund that will support students in perpetuity as well as provide incentives to other donors to support students in need by matching their gifts dollar for dollar.
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Evergreen share a commitment to college access and success, a commitment that is ever more critical for students and society,” said Evergreen President Les Purce in announcing the grant.
In addition to the non-profit Gates foundation, some private companies in Washington also are expanding efforts to help students achieve higher education goals during financially challenging times.
Boeing and Microsoft each recently contributed $25 million to the new Opportunity Scholarship program created by the Legislature this year. Under that program, the state matches private contributions to provide scholarships for low- and middle-income students enrolled in high employer demand studies in Washington.