University alliance offers financial aid for students at risk of not completing college

With funds coming from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, the University Innovation Alliance will provide college completion grants to students.

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The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) announced a new initiative designed to support students that face financial pressure at the end of their studies.

The UIA —composed of 11 public research institutions, among them Purdue University, Arizona State University, University of Texas at Austin, and Ohio State University— has the goal of helping students from all family backgrounds graduate and lower the costs of a degree.

Data from the UIA shows that as many as 4,000 students with good academic record are at risk of being taken out of college because of debt.  With the new program, and with funds coming from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, the consortium will provide completion grants to some students.

“Providing needed aid to students who are close to graduation is yet another example of how collaboration among our institutions is bringing new solutions to light,” said Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the UIA.

The initiative is the alliance’s fourth national project and it is inspired by Georgia State University’s Panther Retention Grants program, which has helped more than 8,000 students.

“Completion grants have been a critical part of our efforts to help students persist and succeed. We are excited to work with the UIA, and to share best practices and lessons learned with our institutional partners as they implement this transformative initiative,” said Tim Renick, Vice Provost of Georgia State University.