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White students and underrepresented minority (URM) students show an equal level of interest in STEM careers when they enter college, but URM students encounter poorly understood barriers to successfully completing STEM degrees.

At the University of Virginia (UVA), there is a 45-point differential in the percentage of white and African American students graduating with at least a 3.0 GPA in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (85% versus 40%, respectively). Similar outcome differentials nationwide severely threaten America's STEM workforce readiness and future economic security.

In order to increase the percentage of URMs graduating with a 3.0 GPA or above, Motivate Lab is working with teams across UVA to understand the achievement gap for URM undergraduate students, implement targeted interventions for a select group of students, and ultimately pilot the research project across multiple large universities to determine the efficacy of the interventions.