Microsoft Donates More Than $3 Million in Software to Aid Low-Income Students Seeking Post-Secondary Education

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its latest grant of more than $3 million in software* to TRIO programs in 49 colleges and universities across the United States, providing greater technology access to low-income and first-generation students seeking post-secondary educations. Microsoft’s donations to TRIO programs now total more than $24 million in software since 1996. Federally funded, TRIO programs currently help more than 700,000 low-income Americans between the ages of 11 and 27 enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America’s economic and social life.

“Although there are many millions of Americans that could benefit from participating in TRIO, the current level of funding permits only approximately 6 percent of eligible youth and adults to be served,”
said Dr. Robert Belle, director of the Office of Federal TRIO programs for the U.S. Department of Education.
“The ongoing support from Microsoft has been a watershed for TRIO. The support provided allows TRIO projects to use technology to assist TRIO participants in gaining the needed skills that are vital to their educational success. The support also allows the projects the flexibility to direct their funds to other needed areas in their programs.”

TRIO comprises the following programs: Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Dissemination Partnership, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Education Opportunity Centers and the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program. More than 2,300 colleges, universities and agencies across the nation host these programs, which are uniquely designed to provide students with the support and tools they need to successfully enter and complete college. The Microsoft® software provides the latest technology for TRIO program computer labs at 49 educational institutions across the United States, where students perform such tasks as building their computer skills, completing their homework and researching scholarship opportunities.

“Technology access and training are integral to a student’s success today, and we are pleased to extend our support to these TRIO programs that provide the primary support for so many students across the country,”
said Bruce Brooks, director of community affairs at Microsoft.
“Last year, more than 70,000 students benefited from this software, and we look forward to seeing that number increase with this year’s donation.”

Since TRIO’s inception in 1965, an estimated 2 million students across the nation have graduated from college with the special assistance and support of a TRIO program.

The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana has reaped tremendous rewards using the donated software to help low-income students in their McNair Scholars Program study at the doctoral level.

“When people talk about the digital divide, it certainly does not apply to our McNair scholars after they’ve completed the program here,”
said Michael Jeffries, associate dean of students and director of TRIO programs at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.
“Technology training has been an integral part of what we’ve been doing in the McNair program nationally as well as locally, and the Microsoft contribution has really been a blessing.”

Created in 1983, Microsoft’s community affairs program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. The company’s worldwide charitable efforts are aimed at increasing access to technology for disadvantaged communities and supporting community organizations in the areas of education, human services, civic development, the arts and the environment. Last year, Microsoft gave more than $25 million in cash and $79 million in software* to more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

*Software donations based on estimated retail prices.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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