IEEE Educational Events

Last Mile Education Fund

Last Mile Education Fund 150 150 ieeeeduweek

For decades there has been a concerted national effort to increase participation in STEM education pipelines, and enrollment in these high demand fields has grown. However, just 20% of students in the bottom two income quartiles graduate within six years of starting college, and 56% of Juniors and above report experiencing basic needs insecurity such as food, housing and connectivity. The Last Mile Education Fund launched in 2020 to reimagine college scholarships and financial aid to focus on getting students over the last mile to graduation, and to date has funded over 2400 grants to low-income tech and engineering students within four semesters of graduation. Last Mile grantees are 42% Black, 24% Latino, 16% Asian, 6% White and 2% Native American. This session will share outcomes of Last Mile’s investments to date and highlight obstacles to success for students from low-income backgrounds.