The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MDC Inc. have announced $16.5 million in grants to 15 community colleges and five states to expand innovative remedial education programs that experts say are key to boosting the college completion rates of low-income and minority students.

The grants are the latest step toward fulfilling the foundation's pledge last year to double the number of college graduates who come from low-income families. (See "Gates Foundation targets college graduation.")

A recent report from Jobs for the Future found that that nearly 60 percent of students enrolling in the nation's community colleges must take remedial classes


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