The Boeing Company and Microsoft announced a joint commitment to support efforts to increase the number of Washington students earning bachelor’s degrees. “The state’s two largest private employers are pledging $25 million apiece over the next five years to the new public-private Washington Opportunity Scholarship program and endowment signed into law today by Gov. Christine Gregoire.”
“Together with matching state contributions under the new program, this will raise $100 million for scholarships for low- and middle-income students, as a first step toward creating a billion-dollar endowment by the end of this decade.”
“Initially, at least 50% of the donations will go to providing immediate scholarships, but after $20 million is raised for that account, donors will have the option of specifying whether the money will go to immediate scholarships or the long-term scholarship endowment. The state will match private contributions to the two scholarship accounts beginning in 2014 with a cap of $50 million annually. The goal is to raise $1 billion during the coming decade, based on a combination of private donations and matching contributions from the state,” revealed Microsoft.
The board, made up of private sector representatives appointed by the governor and legislators, will be responsible for establishing student eligibility criteria, application process and scholarship amounts. Students from families with incomes of up to 125% of the state median income will be eligible to apply for the scholarships, which will be focused primarily on high-demand fields such as healthcare, manufacturing, science, mathematics and technology.[Source: Microsoft Press]