Our Work

Degree Completion Award

The APLU Degree Completion Award recognizes and rewards public universities that are increasing graduation rates, and total numbers of degrees awarded, while improving educational access, quality, and equity. It also collects and spotlights effective student success practices to drive progress across higher education.

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2023 Degree Completion Award Application Period Now Open

The application period for APLU’s 2023 Degree Completion Award is now open! All APLU institutions are strongly encouraged to apply for the award after reviewing the application and guidelines. Applications are due by September 1 at 8:00pm ET and the winner will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington on November 12-14, 2023. Award winners and finalists from 2021 and 2022 are not eligible to apply for this year’s award.

Up to five finalists for the award will be showcased at the APLU Annual Meeting, where a representative from each institution will present an overview of their work and discuss innovative degree completion practices. The winner will be highlighted publicly through APLU’s social media accounts, member newsletter, and other communication channels as well as at the APLU Annual Meeting.

For access to a Microsoft Word version of the application materials, please click here.

APLU member institutions are eligible and invited to apply for the 2023 APLU Degree Completion Award. Initiatives (or programs) that have improved the institution’s four-year degree completion numbers and rates will be considered. The strongest applications will provide evidence that an initiative (or program) has a significant impact on degree completion outcomes.

Previous award recipients and finalists are not eligible to apply in the two years immediately following receipt of APLU’s Degree Completion Award.

Reapplication Process for 2022 Applicants
Institutional applicants from the 2022 Degree Completion Award cycle are welcomed to reapply with the same program/initiative. These re-submissions require only an updated Institution Data Worksheet (located in Appendix B of the application packet). Previous year applicants are also welcomed to update and submit their full application should they desire to do so. Re-submissions will be treated in the same manner and with the same standards as other submissions. All other previous applicants are also encouraged to update their full application for re-submission and consideration.

2022 Degree Completion Award Recipient
Florida Atlantic University

2021 Degree Completion Award Recipient
Florida State University

2020 Degree Completion Award Recipient
Northern Arizona University

2019 Degree Completion Award Recipient
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

2018 Degree Completion Award Recipient
Wayne State University

2017 Project Degree Completion Award Recipient
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

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