Funding Completion

Leading a college or university today is more challenging — and more important — than ever. It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of the American economy rests with how well our postsecondary system educates our young adults.

Severe shortfalls have meant that in nearly every state and college system, budgets are being stretched and cut in ways that few have seen before. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation can’t fill those budget gaps, but we and our partners can spark the discussions and research necessary to help find the best way forward.

Today, Complete College America (an effort supported by the Gates Foundation and four other national philanthropies) is inviting all governors to take the Completion Innovation Challenge. The 10 governors with the most innovative and inventive proposals to significantly boost college completion in their states each will receive a $1 million grant. The idea is to encourage state leaders to enact real change and lasting impact by helping them take on big ideas, like performance funding, revamping developmental education and exploring new delivery models – even in these tough economic times.

Some of you may be chuckling right about now. "Sure," I can hear you say. "We’ll focus on these things just as soon as we figure out how we’re going to keep the lights on."

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