The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rolled out its first round of grants in a much-publicized effort to double the number of low-income students who earn a postsecondary degree or credential by age 26—an increase of about 250,000 graduates each year. The grants total $69 million to more than 20 organizations that include policy organizations, training and research organization and social and education institutions (See story, right). Foundation officials said the awards reflect the foundation’s commitment to use data to shape its investments by building on existing successful programs and policies, tapping innovation in areas where there has been limited success and, over the longer term, bringing the most promising practices to scale. Several of the projects will focus on community college students.
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