The cost of college will now be more affordable for students at The University of Texas-Pan American after changes were announced today regarding the UTPAdvantage free tuition initiative.
The initiative, which started fall 2007, was created to guarantee that qualified students would pay no out of pocket expenses for tuition and fees said Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at UTPA.
"Today the University is proud to announce two changes to the UTPAdvantage program that will enable more students to take advantage of its benefits," he said. "These changes help to open the UTPAdvantage program to a much broader base of students."
The priority deadline was extended one month and is now April 1 to allow students more time to apply. Additionally, the income threshold was raised to $30,000.
The cost of tuition and fees will be completely covered for the regular academic year - fall and spring - for students who meet all of the following requirements:
• Have a family income of $30,000 or less as reported on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
• Are classified as a Texas resident.
• Are enrolled 15 hours or more a semester.
• Are enrolled as an undergraduate in a degree-seeking program.
• Have filed the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year by April 1.
• Are making satisfactory academic progress.
Edwards said the University created the UTPAdvantage program in response to rising tuition costs across the state of Texas.
"It was designed to help the neediest students and their families remove the financial barriers to attending college," he said.
Edwards projects that these changes will open the UTPAdvantage program up to an additional 1,000 students on top of the nearly 500 who qualified last year.
UTPAdvantage, Edwards said, is one of the many innovative programs that are part of UTPA's overall philosophy in assisting students.
"Our Student Financial Services Office is continually on the lookout for new monies to assist our students, whether it be petitioning for additional Texas Grant funds, work-study funds or scholarships. Our goal has always been to find as much funding for our students as possible," he said. "By helping to eliminate these financial barriers to attending college UTPA is helping to change student's lives and helping to solidify the college-going culture in the Rio Grande Valley."
For more information about the UTPAdvantage program, log on to www.utpa.edu/finaid or call 956/381-8787.