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Project Degree Completion Awards Deadline Extended to August 15

APLU would like to call your attention to the 2014 Project Degree Completion Awards. The application period has been extended until August 15, 2014 and institutions are encouraged to apply for these awards.

There are two MVP Degree Completion Awards for which APLU universities can apply:

  • The MVP Project Degree Completion Trailblazer Award will be presented to one APLU member university that has made exceptional progress in increasing retention toward or completion of a bachelor’s degree for all students during the last three years.
  • The MVP Project Degree Completion Opportunity Award will be presented to one APLU member university that has made exceptional progress in increasing retention toward or successful completion of a bachelor’s degree for historically underrepresented and underserved students during the last three years. The scope of this initiative must impact all students on the campus in that specific category (e.g., all underrepresented minorities, all low-income students, all veterans, etc.)

Winners will be recognized at a special ceremony at the APLU Annual Meeting in Orlando in November 2014, receive a trophy, and be prominently featured on the APLU website and in an APLU publication.

The extended deadline to apply for the awards is August 15, 2014. Please click here for the full announcement that includes the award eligibility, criteria, and submission guidelines. John Lee (jlee@aplu.org), APLU’s Vice President, Access and Success, or I would welcome any questions that you might have on the awards.


In 2013, APLU established the Most Visible Progress (MVP) Project Degree Completion Awards to recognize universities that have made significant progress in successfully retaining and graduating students. The awards are part of a comprehensive, joint effort by APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to help achieve a national goal of 60 percent degree attainment among adults by 2025. Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to boost college completion as a part of the Project Degree Completion initiative.

The inaugural winners of the MVP Awards – Georgia State University, Florida International University and San Francisco State University – were chosen from 21 high-quality university applications and announced at the 2013 APLU Annual Meeting. APLU also released an accompanying report entitled, “High Tech, High Touch: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success,” which collectively describes the lessons learned from all MVP Award applicant institutions and profiles the efforts undertaken at each institution. The lessons learned and the university profiles can be found on APLU’s website at www.aplu.org/mvpawards.

In addition to the MVP Awards, APLU continues to build a comprehensive strategy to strengthen member campuses in their work to increase student success. The Student Achievement Measure (SAM), introduced last summer, provides a realistic and comprehensive tool to measure more student outcomes. Additionally, a recent grant from the Gates Foundation is supporting a group of urban universities exploring and scaling new business models to increase student access and success while recognizing cost efficiencies. Earlier this year, APLU and AASCU convened organizations and funders engaged in degree attainment activities to advance collective efforts more effectively. Conceptually linking these various endeavors is APLU’s alternative to President Obama’s ratings plan to achieve greater transparency and accountability.

  • Degree Completion & Student Success

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