Gates Foundation Supports Retention and Scholarships

July 15, 2011

The Evergreen State College Receives $3,000,000 Grant to Promote Retention of At-Risk Students and to Support Student Scholarships

The Evergreen State College has been awarded a grant of $3 million in June to support retention of students, build capacity for fundraising to support student scholarships and other critical needs, and create an endowed scholarship fund for low-income students at risk of failing to complete their degrees.

The multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will:

  • Establish an endowed scholarship fund that will increase support for low-income students that are at risk of dropping out of college ($1,500,000);
  • 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 2011-2012 ($1,250,000.)

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 works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

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,” explained Les Purce, president of The Evergreen State College. “This investment represents a vote of confidence in Evergreen's nationally recognized model for teaching and learning and its ongoing work to support students from the widest range of backgrounds in completing their degrees today, tomorrow and long into the future. The Gates Foundation is a mindful, deliberate investor in creating positive change in the world and we are delighted to partner with the foundation in this visionary effort.”