Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

University Co-op announces expansion of multi-million Course Material Scholarship

Alisha Dulaney
Customers wait in line at the University Co-op on Aug. 7, 2023

The University Co-op announced plans this summer to expand the University Co-op Course Material Scholarship by increasing support for students to $12 million over the next eight years. 

All students who qualify for aid through Texas Advance Commitment automatically qualify for the Co-op’s Course Material Scholarship. Students can check their eligibility by completing the FAFSA or TASFA, said Co-op president and CEO Cheryl Phifer. Phifer said between the expanded scholarship and the UT for Me textbook credit, many students have access to affordable course materials. 

“Every single student who is eligible for financial aid is getting either UT for Me or the Co-op Course Material Scholarship,” Phifer said. “What’s the next group? Where do we go next?”

Both the Course Material Scholarship and the UT for Me program offer annual textbook credits worth $250 to eligible students. Last year, during the first year of the Co-op scholarship, 1,750 students received credit. This year, 6,100 students received credit, according to Phifer. 

“The goal is to literally help every single student, and we’re really close,” Phifer said.

In 2021, the University Co-op launched the Longhorn Textbook Access program, which works with publishers to provide students with the most affordable course content options. Data shows the Co-op put out more than 60,000 units of material before the opt-out period through the LTA program, Phifer said.

“The Co-op’s significant commitment to offer affordable course materials and learning resources is an important step, and it enhances our efforts to make an exceptional education more affordable for students who have the greatest financial need,” UT president Jay Hartzell said in an Aug. 21 press release.  

Co-op marketing director Kate Mounger said seeing the impact made by the Co-op’s programs motivates her. 

“It definitely makes me feel like there’s a purpose to everything that I’m doing. We’re not just making money to give to shareholders or anything like that, (the money is) going back to something that’s making a difference,” Mounger said. 

Phifer said her current goal for the Co-op is to increase retail profits and, in turn, increase the number of programs and discounts offered to UT students. 

“We love UT students, we think about you every single day, and we’re really working hard to help you bring down those costs and have a better educational experience,” Phifer said.

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