Breaking: University unveils additional financial aid

Maria Mendez

Next fall, UT will cover tuition for qualified Texas freshmen from families earning up to $30,000 through four-year awards.

On Friday, UT President Gregory Fenves announced that the University will also guarantee grants and scholarships to all freshmen from Texas families earning up to $100,000 (adjusted gross incomes) and who demonstrate financial need.

“Our goal is for a high-quality UT education to be affordable and accessible to qualified students with financial need from across the state,” Fenves said in an email to students.

To qualify, students will have to be incoming, in-state students entering college for the first time and who demonstrate financial need by applying for FAFSA or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. To keep the four-year awards students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point-average and good standing.

The additional financial support, called Texas Advance Commitment, is expected to benefit about 3,000 freshmen per year. The financial aid awards will vary from $300 to $11,000, depending on a students financial need and family’s income.

The awards build upon Fenves’ 2016 announcement to increase financial support for middle income families by $15 million, or $7.5 million a year, for two years.

“What’s new and important is that if you’re admitted, have financial need come from a family earning $100, 000 or less, we can guarantee you financial aid,” said Joey Williams, communications director for the provost's office. “We haven’t been able to say that before.”

The yearly Texas Advance Commitment awards will be funded through $7.5 million from Fenves' previous allocation and $5 million from new recurring endowment funds approved by the UT System Board of Regents and other funding previously utilized for need-based aid.

“The Texas Advance Commitment is a long-term investment in our students, their families and the people of Texas,” Fenves said.

The increased support comes after the recent approval of 2 percent tuition increases for the next two academic years, after which Fenves promised to provide additional financial aid for students.

“Improving affordability through this important new initiative is another way that we are working to unlock our students’ potential and drive upward mobility for our great state, and we’re just getting started,” Fenves said.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect where the awards get their funding from. A previous version incorrectly stated this information. The Texan regrets this error.