Robin Hood Foundation Announces Semi-Finalists for $5 Million College Success Challenge

August 19, 2014 | The University

Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty fighting organization, ideas42, a leading behavioral ideas lab, along with The City University of New York, the leading urban university system in the U.S., today announced the semi-finalists for The Robin Hood College Success Prize, a competition designed to identify scalable technology solutions to increase the three-year graduation rates of the most at-risk community college students—those enrolled in remedial courses.

The 18 semi-finalists, who will each receive $40,000 to further develop their products, were selected from a pool of 104 applicants.  In addition, the semi-finalists will be invited to participate in an interactive workshop with ideas42, where they will receive an in-depth look on how to apply behavioral science to improve the effectiveness of their products.

The competition received applications from a range of developer communities, including large public companies, startups, and universities.

  • Applicant teams included participants from 12 countries including Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and others.
  • The states with the largest percentage of applicants included New York with 33 percent and California with 18 percent.
  • 75 percent of applicant teams included both female and male designers.
  • 47 percent of submissions were based on tools specifically designed for this competition, while 30 percent were based on existing products, and 23 percent were adapted from current technologies.
  • Roughly 25 percent of the applicants were affiliated with a university and 10 percent of the applications were submitted by student teams. Applicants included teams from The City University of New York, Diablo Valley Community College (California), Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Colorado (Boulder), and Yale University.