Nadellas’ gift will fund full-ride UWM scholarships for some Milwaukee high school students

Anu and Satya Nadella

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced it will offer multiple full-ride scholarships for Milwaukee students pursuing tech-related degrees next fall.

The scholarships – which are designated for incoming freshmen from Milwaukee high schools who are entering computer science, data science and information technology programs – are being funded by a $2 million gift from Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer Satya Nadella and Anu Nadella. The Nadellas announced the donation, which established the Fund for Diversity in Tech Education at UWM, in June. Satya Nadella received his master’s degree in computer science from UWM in 1990. He’s led tech giant Microsoft since 2014.

In announcing the donations, Nadellas said they seek to help create new opportunities for students from Milwaukee’s marginalized and underserved communities.

The new scholarships will provide financial and academic support, and cover tuition, fees, room and board for 12 to 15 students for up to five years.

Each recipient will be assigned a dedicated success coach, an academic advisor and a peer mentor, and will be provided additional tutoring and support opportunities to lead to successful student outcomes, UWM said.

The new Anu and Satya Nadella Scholarships are part of a larger initiative that includes support for pre-college programming and emergency grants to help students successfully complete their degrees.

The university points to data showing a gap in computer science-related graduates compared to open jobs in the state. According to a recent report from Code.org, Wisconsin has about 9,700 open computing jobs each month, but there were only 1,261 graduates in computer science in the state in 2018.

“Approximately 75% of our students need financial assistance to attend college,” said Kay Eilers, associate vice chancellor of UWM. “We are deeply grateful to Satya and Anu Nadella for their support, enabling our students to pursue their dreams and opportunities in these high-demand tech fields.”

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.

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