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May 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM

More than 3,000 students win new $1,000 state scholarship

More than 5,600 students applied for the state’s first awarding of the Washington Opportunity Scholarship, a new scholarship that combines public and private money to encourage low- and middle-income students to get degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.

About 3,000 scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded. Recipients included 821 students majoring in science fields, 333 in technology, 709 in engineering, 158 in math and 988 in health care, according to statistics compiled by the College Success Foundation, which is administering the award.

More than half of the students are attending four-year public universities, and 768 of the award-winners — about one-quarter — will be entering college as freshmen this fall. The scholarship is renewable for up to five years for entering college freshmen.

Last year, Boeing and Microsoft pledged a total of $50 million to the program, and the state contributed $5 million. The state’s goal is to match private-sector pledges to bring the endowment’s total to $100 million, once the economy improves. The Washington Opportunity Scholarship Board has set a goal of raising $1 billion from public and private contributions by 2020.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: college, scholarships, STEM

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