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ERIC Number: ED509889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Expanding Access and Opportunity: The Washington State Achievers Program
Ramsey, Jennifer; Gorgol, Laura
Institute for Higher Education Policy
In 2001, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a 10-year, multi-million dollar initiative, the Washington State Achievers Program (WSA), to increase opportunities for low-income students to attend postsecondary institutions in Washington State. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted funds to the College Success Foundation (CSF), formerly the Washington Education Foundation, to execute a multifaceted strategy to address both the academic and financial barriers to postsecondary education and increase the numbers of students entering postsecondary education. The program targeted 16 high schools in Washington that had large populations of low-income students. In addition to providing scholarships for students, the schools implemented school-level reforms by adjusting the curriculum to match the requirements for entrance to a four-year institution and creating smaller school communities. Each year, approximately 500 high school students (hereafter referred to as achievers) were expected to receive financial support, one-on-one mentoring, and other assistance. To date, more than 5,000 students have received scholarships from the WSA program; by the program's end in 2016, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will have contributed nearly $128.6 million in scholarship and school reform funding. It is clear from the earliest research that the achievers have positive outcomes compared with non-recipients. Their outcomes put them on par with students from the highest socio-economic quartile nationally. They had fewer financial concerns, were more likely to attend selective institutions, and were actively engaged in their local and national communities after graduation. (Contains 1 table, 5 figures, and 16 footnotes.) [This report was prepared for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.]
Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1320 19th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Washington