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70 Million in Grants from the Gates Foundation

In light of our country's economic state, the number of low income students that go to college is projected to drop sharply. In light of this almost certainty, on Monday, the Gates Foundation announced plans to offer almost 70 million dollars in grants to low income students. The purpose of this endowment is to double the number of low income students that earn a vocational or college credential.

The statistics behind the initiative are stark. While growing numbers of students in this country enroll in college, most of them never graduate. With large numbers working full time to pay for college and a lack of institutional support for struggling students, only about 25 percent of low-income students earn any kind of postsecondary degree, experts say. The rate for black and Latino students is about 20 percent.

With states cutting budgets for higher education, and a lack of endowments, many students who have to test scores to go to college simply will not, due to financial constraints. The Gates Foundation endowment will not go directly to students, but it will support programs to help low income student be able to go to college or stay in school to earn their degree. This could translate in to approximately 250,000 students a year who are able to complete their college or vocational education.

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