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The completion of a college degree is a powerful tool in reducing the risk of poverty and unemployment and increasing individual lifetime earnings. In the past six years, the U advanced its completion rate from 55 to 70 percent; however, there is still more work to do. Our institutional research shows that some students continue to face financial barriers, health challenges and struggle to find their academic path and a sense of belonging on campus. Increasing our graduation rate is a key strategic goal and we need your help.

With the aim of accelerating baccalaureate degree completion at the U, we invite you to submit bold, innovative ideas—either new ideas or scaling existing successful programs—that will help U students complete their degrees. University of Utah faculty, staff and students are eligible to submit proposals for up to $50,000 in funding. We will award a total of $100,000.

Submit Your Proposal
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Proposals may request up to $50,000 in one-time funding.

Teams selected may also be eligible for additional funding opportunities through the University of Utah, the American Dream Ideas Challenge, and other local and national philanthropic sources.

Selected teams will continue to meet with the challenge leadership for progress updates.

  • Outline how you will help more students graduate, specifically explaining the strategy, intervention, program, etc.
  • Explain how your idea will be implemented, evaluated and project timeline.
  • Successful proposals will impact a significant number of U undergraduate students.
  • Proposals may target students across campus, within schools/colleges and/or individual units.
  • Proposals are due by July 31, 2019.
  • Selected proposals will be announced in August 2019.

Have questions on U completion rates and useful data?

Explore U Data

Submit your proposal

Thank you for your interest in the Degree Completion Challenge. The 2019 application is now closed.

The winning proposal(s) will be announced in September. Please email Cassie Slattery with any questions.

Leadership Team

Meet the team behind the Degree Completion Challenge

Ruth Watkins


Dan Reed

Senior Vice President for
Academic Affairs

Laura Marks

Special Assistant to the SVP

Courtney McBeth

Special Assistant to the President

Cassie Slattery

Project Facilitator

Submit Your Proposal

Submit Your Proposal