Fresno State is one of five finalists for a national award recognizing its significant work to promote the retention and graduation of students. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named Fresno State as a finalist for its 2016 Project Degree Completion Award. The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward public universities across the country that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion. "Fresno State is honored by this national recognition of our bold efforts to better serve our students,” said University President Joseph I. Castro. “We are heartened by the significant increase in our graduation rate and focused on doing even better in the future as we strive for a 70 percent, six-year graduation rate by 2023."