Washington state students to benefit from joint Boeing-Microsoft contribution
If you live in Washington state and dream of earning a bachelor’s degree but can’t afford the ever-increasing cost of a four-year university, a new pledge from Boeing and Microsoft may be able to help.
The two companies have joined together to contribute $50 million over the next five years to a scholarship fund that provides educational funding for low- to middle-income students in Washington state.
The announcement comes shortly after Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire passed into law the Washington Opportunity Scholarship program, a bill that matches financial contributions from a private company, dollar-for-dollar.
In light of the sizeable contribution from Boeing and Microsoft – Washington state’s two largest private employers – the new program is off to a good start, with $100 million in funding that will be split into two separate funds. The first of these is expected to start providing scholarship opportunities as early as December 2011 for students wishing to earn a bachelor’s degree from public universities and other colleges within the state of Washington.
The second half of the funding is going to be withheld in a separate fund that will be managed over the long-term to provide a steady source of financial aid in years to come.
The joint scholarship program is the first step toward a billion-dollar endowment that proponents are hoping to have in place by 2020. It marks a continued effort on behalf of Washington state voters, lawmakers and private companies like Technically Learning, a Seattle-based non-profit, to invest in the future through funding for educational initiatives and classroom improvements.