The scholarships were made possible through a $500,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation presented in June 2012 to the UTPA Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the University through fund raising and other charitable contributions.
The scholarships, which were available to students for the first time in Fall 2012, are for qualified entering freshmen who are the first in their immediate families to attend college. To be eligible, applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and maintain a 2.8 GPA throughout college. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years and offers up to approximately $6,000 per recipient a year.
Pictured left to right are Dr. Salvador Contreras, assistant professor of economics; Coca-Cola McAllen Plant Manager Armando Garza; scholarship recipients Victoria Gutierrez, Alexia Jauregui, Arely Cavazos, and Andres Gonzales; Dr. Kenneth Buckman, SEEL associate provost; and Dr. Christopher Keller, interim director, The Rafael "Felo" A. & Carmen Guerra Honors Program. Not pictured is scholarship recipient Itsayana Vallejo.
The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program has given more than $23 million in scholarships to support first-generation students and has reached more than 2,000 students at about 450 campuses throughout the country.