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WWDC 2015 scholarships increased to 350 as Apple works to boost gender, racial diversity

Apple this year is offering 350 scholarships to WWDC 2015, a substantial increase over last year that will pull in students 13 and older, as well as members and alumni from a number of groups including women, blacks, and Latinos.




The 350 scholarships issued this year, focused on promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning, is up from the 200 scholarships offered by Apple for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in 2014, as noted by Re/code. Among the 20 STEM organizations eligible this year are ones like App Camp for Girls, Black Girls Code, Code.org, LaTechLa, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

The founder of App Camp, Jean MacDonald, told the publication that "quite a number" of women iOS developers volunteering with the Oregon group are interested in applying by submitting an app. A spokesperson for the National Society of Black Engineers, meanwhile, remarked that Apple has been working with the organization for the last year, and recently joined its board of corporate affiliates.

In the wake of pressure from the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and its own 2014 diversity report, Apple has been looking to spur the diversity of its US workforce, which is predominantly white and male. Last year Apple said that 11 percent was Latino and 7 percent was black —by comparison, those groups made up 14 and 12 percent of the overall US workforce.

WWDC 2015 is running from June 8 through 12 this year in San Francisco. Apple is expected to showcase iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, and possibly announce things like a new Apple TV, and streaming music and/or TV services.