News & Announcements

CSU’s Last Mile Program to Assist Students in Reaching Graduation

University receives pilot grant from APLU and USU to Enhance Student Success Initiatives

Cleveland State University has been awarded a $50,000 pilot grant from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) to create the Last Mile program, which will provide necessary bridge funds to senior students, who have maxed out of financial aid, so they are able to complete their degrees. The program will leverage the university's highly successful Radiance Scholars program which is targeted at supporting low income individuals in attending and completing college. It will also enhance CSU’s longstanding student success initiatives which are designed to help individuals graduate on time and with less debt.

“At CSU helping students succeed is our number one priority,” said Ronald M. Berkman, President of Cleveland State. “The Last Mile Program will be an important tool to help students graduate on time and with less debt. We are particularly grateful to APLU and USU for providing assistance for this important initiative.”

The grant received by CSU is part of a $450,000 national initiative designed help prevent low-income college students nearing graduation from dropping out.

“Micro-grant programs, particularly at public urban research universities, have proven very effective at providing low-income students facing financial hardship with the resources they need to avoid dropping out and instead earn their diploma,” said Shari Garmise, Vice President of the USU/APLU Office of Urban Initiatives. “These grants will support nine institutions looking to help students in need.  By supporting these institutions as they develop a micro-grant program or expand a pilot program, we are effectively supporting students, the workforce, and the nation.”

Through the Last Mile initiative CSU will identify seniors who are danger of dropping out due to expiring financial aid and provide assistance through the Radiance Scholars program to meet tuition expenses and student fees. Students who have one or two semesters remaining to earn their degree will be eligible to participate. Since its inception in 2011, Radiance has raised more than $3.7 million in support of scholarships, helping 1,186 students stay in school and on track to graduation.