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Grand Valley creates 'Grand Finish'

Posted on April 30, 2010

Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas and Provost Gayle R. Davis announced on April 30 the creation of an innovative, multifaceted program that supports students on their road to graduation.

Grand Finish will include two robust software tools students can use to enhance degree planning and access to personal support services. It will also include grant money for students achieving a specified number of credit hours that shows their timely progress to obtaining their degrees.

Haas said this unique program underscores Grand Valley’s commitment to helping students move quickly to graduation, saving time and money. “I know of no program like it anywhere,” Haas said. “Grand Finish is my promise to our students and their families to provide comprehensive support. I know how hard it can be to finish your degree. We hear you, and we will help.”

Details of the program were presented to the Board of Trustees by Davis. “We want to be sure we do everything we can to help students complete their academic programs in a timely fashion,” Davis said. “Enhancing our support services to students so they have the information and advice they need to graduate on time is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of education and move productive graduates into the workforce or graduate schools.”

Grand Finish will cover students entering Grand Valley in the fall 2010 semester just as the university kicks off its 50th-year celebration. Grand Finish grants of $1,000 will be awarded after first-time freshmen earn 90 credit hours within three years of their enrollment. Dual enrollment and Advanced Placement credits will be counted.

The program works a little differently for transfer students. Students transferring to Grand Valley will receive a $500 grant once they have achieved the 90 credit hours and have earned an average of 30 credit hours per year at Grand Valley following their transfer.

Once students reach the 90 credit hours, the grant money will be paid over the next two semesters, which are typically the final year for students. “I think of this as a graduation present from Grand Valley,” said Davis. “We think that focusing on the finish continues Grand Valley's heritage of effectively educating a citizenry for Michigan's future."

Full program details are available online at


* President Haas said Grand Finish takes a systems approach (audio).

* President Haas said Grand Finish is designed to help students stay on track (audio).

* President Haas said Grand Finish saves students time and money (audio).


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