Students are accelerating their graduation with the help of Cal Poly Pomona’s summer completion grants.
So far this year, grants were awarded to 315 students who needed eight units or fewer to graduate. The grant covers tuition and fees, and a stipend helps pay for textbooks so that students can finish their degree in the summer term.
One grant beneficiary is Nant Aye, a management and human resources senior, who had nine units remaining after spring semester. Not wanting to delay her graduation another year, she visited the Bronco Advising Center to evaluate her options.
That’s when Aye spoke to Terri Gomez, associate vice president for student success. She explained to Gomez that she wanted to speed up her graduation so she could visit her father, who lives in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Between caring for her family, attending school and other responsibilities, Aye had not seen her father in seven years.
Eager to help a student in need, Gomez encouraged Aye to apply for a summer completion grant to fund eight of her nine remaining units. After talking to Aye and hearing her determination to complete her degree, Gomez made an exception for Aye and rewarded her with a grant to cover all nine units.
“The Summer Completion Grant Initiative helps students like Nant get over the finish line and start their careers,” Gomez said. “The difference between graduating in the summer and the fall has the potential to transform a student’s path.”
Aye is on track to complete her core classes this summer, two years after transferring from Mt. SAC in 2017.
“My graduation honors my mother,” Aye said. “I want to make my dad proud and be an example to my two daughters and show them what I was able to accomplish as a full-time mom, student, wife, church volunteer and part-time intern.”
Aye’s story is one of many, as the university builds on the success of last year’s introduction of the summer completion grants that helped 327 students graduate before semester conversion.
“For the students we helped last summer, many shared with us that they were able to focus on finishing because they didn’t have to worry about paying expenses,” Gomez said. “This not only had a significant impact on our graduation rates but the sense of support our students felt while finishing their degree.
This year the university awarded 315 grants to students totaling nearly $800,000.
The university’s efforts are part of the Graduation Initiative 2025 that seeks to increase graduation rates for all CSU students.
The system-wide initiative will eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps to ensure all students can graduate promptly according to their personal goals.