In the effort to significantly increase graduate rates at community colleges around the United States, the Phil and Melissa Gates Foundation announced an $800,000,000 scholarship fund that covers the full cost of tuition for any student who agrees to participate in the cutting edge LASSI (Learning Analytics for Student Success Implant) pilot. In a 30-minute minor procedure, participants get two biological implants (one in the brain and another that goes under the skin) that monitors over 4000 indicators associated with academic success. This includes everything from sleeping patterns to diet and alcohol consumption, stress level to a proprietary algorithm that monitors academic well-being. This complex analysis produces a real-time LASSI score on a scale of 1 to 100. A score of 80 or above almost guarantees academic success. Whenever a participant’s LASSI score begins to drop, the chips trigger a series of suggested interventions via text message or an auditory message only heard by that participant.
Insiders tout this pilot as one of the most promising student success innovations since the Franklin Day Planner.
Dr. Nic Bio, lead researcher in the pilot and holder of several patents associated with LASSI said, “I’m delighted that the Phil and Melissa Gates Foundation saw fit to support my research. Student success is a national educational and financial crisis, and I’m excited to demonstrate how LASSI can be a game-changing solution to this problem.
Miranda Failnot, a 5-time dropout of college, was also announced as the first student accepted into the pilot. “I don’t know what to say. This technology is an incredible blessing and just the help that I need to achieve my dreams and complete my degree.”
Researchers assure participants that the procedure is minimally invasive and that there are few risks apart from an increased chance of swelling of the brain, migraines, seizures, infection, or stroke. “Those seem like minimal risks when you weigh them against the chance of not completing college,” explained a PR spokesperson for the pilot.
The pilot will accept up to 50,000 students in a series of three cohorts over the next six years. Once further evidence is secured, Dr. Bio is hopeful that the technology can spread across all of K-12 and higher education.