The U.S. has a dropout trouble, and Bill Gates isn’t having it.
In a blog post published last week, the Microsoft co-founder referred to America’s 45.2 percent college dropout rate as “tragic.”
Bill Gates is, of course, a college dropout himself, having left Harvard to procure Microsoft in 1975. But rather than scold those like himself, he says that he aims to focus on low-income, first-generation, and minority students, and the barriers they face at their colleges.
“Without more alumnus, our country is currently facing a lack of skilled workers and fewer low-income families will get the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty, ” Gates wrote. “That’s why I’m constantly on the lookout for colleges and universities that somehow defy these odds.”
His activism began with a trip-up to Georgia State University( GSU ), local schools from which racial minority and low income students graduate at rates at or above those of the student body. Gates interviewed GSU administrators about how colleges and universities has improved its graduation rates, and hit a video and selfies with some students.
It’s not clear from the post whether Gates has a plan for using these experiences to improve graduation rates at other universities. But “members attention” of a magnate like Gates may, if nothing else, bring the questions more of the spotlight that he clearly believes it deserves.