Bill Gates has quickly become one of the most generous billionaires of our time, with his many philanthropic ventures and the Gates Millennium Scholarship (intended for low-income college students). Only a year ago, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $70 million increase in their college grants as part of a new goal to double the number of low-income students who earn a degree by age 26. Bill Gates is not swayed by documentation that this number has not risen is years, but is rather influenced by the vast jumps online education has made in earning students a college degree where they would not have earned one otherwise.
His specific foundation’s goals intended to enlist the efforts of other nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to match his own contribution in order to ensure that low-income students get the education necessary for higher-paying careers. The statistics are startling: in the past few years, low income students and minority students have low retention rates if they attend college and slim chances of earning any type of postsecondary education degrees.
Bill Gates wants to ensure that any student who wants to attend college and earn a degree does so, regardless of their background. Many of the studies done on these statistics indicate that the recession has not helped matters since those with a degree have been able to hold onto a career better. This has a snowball effect of sorts because people in this situation may pass their educational standards onto their children, creating a higher risk of unemployment in the long run. This does not always happen, but typically children from low income families find it harder to attend college and still deal with the expenses that are constantly rising.
The Gates foundation intends to give college grants to programs intended to help low-income students make it through college, hopefully increasing the graduation number by 250,000 graduates per year. Additionally, the foundation provides $33.2 million in college grants to community colleges in order to improve programs so students can gain vital skills for their future degree or certificate. Bill and Melinda Gates made this announcement not too long after the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education reached the conclusion that college would be out of reach for many families due to the present state of the economy and the rising costs of an education.
With college costs constantly rising, the Gates college grant proposal could not have come at a better time. No one should be limited from earning a quality education simply because they do not have the time or resources to enroll in classes. Instead, the Gates Foundation foresees a future that allows any person to attend college who wants to, regardless of their income status.