The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced a matching challenge grant from the Grainger Foundation to bolster a scholarship fund dedicated to attracting more women and underrepresented students to the university's School of Engineering.
Through the end of 2019, the grant from the foundation will match dollar-for-dollar all donations, up to $25 million, made to the college's Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative. The fund, which has already received $1 million from an anonymous donor, was launched in 2013 with a $30 million gift from the foundation as part of the $100 million Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative. Since then, the number of first-year women and underrepresented minority students enrolled in engineering has nearly doubled, while the number of first-generation college students has increased nearly five-fold.
Scholarships funded by the initiative support undergraduate students who enter the School of Engineering as freshmen, as well as students who transfer to the U of I from a community college. Scholarships also support students in a summer scholars program and the Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering (ARISE) Scholars program, which provides assistance to low-income and underrepresented students making the transition to one of the top engineering programs in the world.
"In just a few years, the scholarship support provided by the Grainger Foundation has already changed the face of engineering at Illinois," said School of Engineering dean Andreas Cangellaris. "By making college more affordable for our students, we've attracted the most diverse and most qualified classes in our history. That was our goal when we set out on the Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative, and we are thrilled to already be making such great progress."