Facebook in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began hosting a hackathon on Thursday to launch the foundation’s College Knowledge Challenge. The program is a $2.5 million investment aimed at encouraging investors to create apps that help students with the college process.
HackEd is specifically aimed at taking Facebook’s digital communications and mixing it into the Gates’ mission for helping students as they near college age.
In a Mashable interview Stacey Childress, deputy director for the foundation’s College Ready Challenge says:
“App developers will focus on one or more of these problems facing future college students: the application process, admissions and financial aid.”
Teens will specifically be reached through social networking which explains why Facebook has become an important partner in the process.
Once selected Facebook will work to make the apps easy to find by future college students while encouraging them through those apps to attend college.
With $2.5 million at stake a panel of judges will provide various finalists with prize awards between $50,000-$100,000 in funding to develop their app.