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Gates Foundation To Give Away $122 Million In Scholarships

Washington - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $122 million scholarship initiative. This is one of the largest education grants by the foundation and it aims to send over 2000 students from the District Of Columbia, to college. These students belong to the citys most disadvantaged neighborhoods and underachieving schools.The foundation, based in Seattle, will provide scholarships for more than 2000 students over the next 10 years. Each student will receive up to $50,000 for college tuition, distributed over five years. According to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, these scholarships will make a tremendous difference in nurturing the potential of many students, who never believed that they would complete college.This spring, 175 high school juniors will receive the first of these scholarships. Students will be selected based on their high school grades, standardized test scores and their established commitment to education.According to statistics, only one third of the students in the aforesaid neighborhoods complete high school, and just one student in 20, graduates from college within five years.The foundations investment, meant to boost high school and college graduation rates will double the college completion rate for District residents by 2010 and triple it by 2015.To help improve education, the Gates Foundation has donated over $10 million in D.C. and over $1 billion nationwide. The foundation wanted to start this project in Washington, DC because of its need for school reform. The scholarship money will be spent to help students attending six public high schools or charter schools. The list includes Anacostia, Ballou, H.D. Woodson, Friendship Collegiate, Maya Angelou-Evans and Thurgood Marshall Academy.

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