A group of donors has committed $2.1 million to an initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dedicated to ensuring that students of color graduate at the same rate as white students to help eliminate long-standing equity gaps, UW-Milwaukee announced on Monday.
Through the Moon Shot initiative, UW-Milwaukee will strive to eliminate equity gaps so that students of color graduate at the same rate as white students by 2030. UWM also seeks to help more first-generation students and those from lower-income households graduate from college, according to a press release from UW-Milwaukee, and these efforts will be data-driven and evidence-based, with ongoing monitoring of results.
The Moon Shot for Equity Fund was established through a partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF).
“This generous gift of $2.1 million is a breakthrough and a critical boost for our students. The investment allows UWM to make microgrants that can be life-changing for students whose educations were interrupted for various reasons,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said in a statement. “This investment will advance the university by focusing on student success and help meet the needs of our region and state by providing highly skilled, in-demand graduates.”
The gift, according to a press release from UW-Milwaukee, will be used to fund:
- Emergency grants for students with sudden, critical needs,
- Re-entry grants for students looking to return to school to finish their degrees after leaving for a period of time, and
- Grants for continuing students nearing degree completion in need of support to remove financial barriers that would have prevented continued enrollment.