Kent State Receives $50,000 Grant to Help Low-income Students Graduate

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USC) have awarded Kent State University a $50,000 microgrant to help remove the financial barrier to graduation that low-income students may face as they near graduation.

Kent State is one of only nine public urban research universities chosen through a very competitive process for the grant. The funds are allocated to institutions that are already serving a significant percentage of nontraditional, underrepresented students who are low-income, first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible and racially diverse.  

The two-year grant will help support the Kent Completion Project, which will help Kent State students who have applied for graduation but demonstrate a genuine unmet need of $1,200 or less.

The microgrant will play a critical role in helping Kent State realize its vision of student success outlined in its strategic priorities, including putting students first to ensure that they have the education, inclusive environment and support they need to graduate.

“Support from this grant allows our university to target students who are within one year of graduation and demonstrate the most financial need to assist them in getting their diplomas,” says Kent State President Beverly Warren. “This would be a great first step in an area we have already identified as a target for improving student success.”

Kent State students chosen for the project will be required to meet with both academic advising staff and other academic diversity success staff to develop personalized work plans that would lead to the students’ successful completion of their undergraduate degree.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the program and graduate within a year of receiving the grant will receive their caps and gowns paid for by the program.

This project is a part of a broader, more comprehensive set of student success efforts squarely aligned with presidential priorities and goals. The university has a goal of increasing the graduation rate by 10 percent in the next five years.

The project will be led by N.J. Akbar, assistant dean for academic diversity success in Kent State’s University College.

To learn more about Kent State’s University College, visit

To learn more about Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, visit www://

To learn more about Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, visit