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WVU receives $1 million Maier grant to help students ‘cross the finish line’


West Virginia University students will benefit from a $1 million gift from the Maier Foundation aimed at reducing the number of students who leave campus before graduation.

The Maier Foundation is a West Virginia-based nonprofit organization focused on furthering higher education in the Mountain State. Its gift will support a new retention effort called the Mountaineer Completion Grant Program and be spread out over two years. The program, which will provide financial assistance to students at risk of leaving the university in their final year of study, was modeled after successful programs at other universities.

“We know there are students at risk of not returning to WVU during their final two semesters due to the expiration or reduction of private, institutional and federal scholarship aid,” Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Evan Widders said. “With funding from the Maier Foundation, WVU will be able to pilot a completion grant program that has shown up to an 87% success rate at other institutions.”

Set to launch in Fall 2023, the new program is geared toward serving undergraduate students who are within two academic terms of completing their bachelor’s degree, and who demonstrate both academic progress and unmet financial need. Eligible students will be offered grants of up to $1,500.

“This completion grant program is a new initiative that is part of the larger university focus on improving student success outcomes at WVU,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of the Maier Foundation, which will allow us to help students who are struggling financially cross the finish line and graduate in a timely fashion.”

The Maier Foundation, based in Charleston, focuses on the furtherance of higher education in West Virginia and on the higher education of West Virginia residents attending colleges and universities elsewhere. In addition, the Foundation makes educationally related distributions to cultural and other organizations in the Kanawha Valley. This gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the university.

“The Maier Foundation is pleased to support West Virginia University and the Mountaineer Completion Grant Program,” Maier Foundation Chair and President Bradley Maier Rowe said.