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University of Wisconsin Madison
Projects & Initiatives

Project Degree Completion Award

APLU established the Project Degree Completion Award to achieve the following:

  • Reward and bolster the current efforts of public universities that are successfully improving the retention and graduation of students;
  • Collect effective campus-based models from successful public universities for other institutions to use to increase student retention and graduation; and
  • Mobilize all colleges and universities to prioritize improving student retention and graduation outcomes.

The award, which includes a $15,000 monetary prize for the winning institution to further its work, is open only to APLU institutions and serves to advance Project Degree Completion (PDC), a joint effort between APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in which nearly 500 public colleges and universities have pledged to collectively award 3.8 million more degrees by 2025. Together, this increase will represent the public four-year institutions' contribution toward the national goal of having 60 percent of working age adults in the U.S. possess a college degree.

The 2016 Project Degree Completion Award winner was the University of California, Riverside. To learn more about their student success efforts, please click here.  The previous award winners are listed below.

  • Apply for the 2017 PDC Award


    All APLU member institutions are invited to submit an application for the 2017 PDC Award. Initiatives and programs that have improved the institution’s retention and/or graduation rate(s) at any time in the last three academic years will be considered. Previous award recipients are not eligible in the two years immediately following receipt of the PDC Award (formerly MVP Trailblazer and Opportunity Awards).

    The award application will be available in the beginning of 2017.

  • Previous PDC Award Winners (formerly MVP Trailblazer and Opportunity Awards)

    2016 Project Degree Completion Award Recipient
    University of California, Riverside

    2015 Project Degree Completion Award Recipient
    Morgan State University

    2014 MVP Trailblazer Award Recipient
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    2014 MVP Opportunity Award Recipient
    Florida State University

    2013 MVP Trailblazer Award Recipient
    Georgia State University

    2013 MVP Opportunity Award Recipients
    San Francisco State University
    Florida International University