The SoC program funds open source development by students, with mentoring organizations overseeing and guiding students through the development process. Google stands to pay out up to $4.5 million if all of the projects reach completion -- not including the administrative costs of running the SoC 2007 program.
SoC projects historically have a completion rate of about 80%, and more than 1,000 students have participated in the program so far. Students receive $4,500 for completed projects, and the mentoring organizations receive $500 for each project.
Google originally planned to accept 600 projects, but Google's open source team member Leslie Hawthorn writes on the Google Developer Blog that the company decided to fund 900 due to the "particularly high quality" of the applications. "Rather than turn these brilliant students away, we increased the number of students we accepted to over 900."
The SoC program has drawn in 140 projects, including Debian, Eclipse, FreeBSD, KDE, GNOME, One Laptop Per Child, SquirrelMail, Ubuntu, the Wine Project, and the Zope Foundation.
The KDE project scored big with 40 projects accepted. Ideas that may come to fruition thanks to Google's largesse and smart students include a collaborative editing mode for KOffice, improvements to KDEPrint's backend, Strigi desktop search, and CMake support for KDevelop.
With more than 900 projects accepted, there's too much to detail here. See the full list of projects to learn what ideas made the cut.