Beginning in the Fall 2012 semester, the UTPAchieve grant will be available for students with the most need for financial aid.
“UTPAchieve is designed to assist students to cover their tuitions, fees and help them with a $500 book stipend,” said Jael Garcia, associate director of financial aid outreach and customer service at UTPA’s Student Financial Services.
A little more than $1 million is currently available under the UTPAchieve program.
“We see a need many times for programs that will give students the assurance that they at least will not have to worry about the most direct cost of an education, which would be the tuition and fees and in this case, also books,” said Garcia. "We also see a need for students who are interested in accelerating their education by enrolling for more than full time, but may not have enough financial aid to do that."
Garcia says first-generation students are expected to benefit considerably with UTPAchieve.
“We live in an area where, oftentimes, the students are first-generation students, so sometimes it’s difficult for the parents to help them and they are concerned as to how they will pay for their children’s college education,” Garcia said.
This new initiative replaces UTPAdvantage, and while some of the requirements differ, the goal remains the same: to serve as a supplemental aid for qualified applicants.
To be eligible for UTPAchieve for the 2012-1013 academic year, students must:
• Have a family income of $40,000 or less and demonstrate financial need as reported on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid);
• Be classified as a Texas resident;
• Be enrolled for 15 hours or more per semester;
• Be enrolled as an undergraduate in a degree-seeking program;
• Entering freshmen must meet the UTPA admission requirements and have a minimum ACT composite score of 19, or a SAT composite score of 900 (Math and Verbal), or be in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class;
• Returning students must be meeting the financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements and have a minimum GPA of 2.5;
• Transfer students must have a transfer GPA of 2.5; and
• Priority will be given to students who have filed the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year by April 1.
“Administrators at UTPA want students to know that there are financial aid opportunities available to them to pursue a higher education,” Garcia said.
Students can apply for UTPAchieve until the end of August, but are urged to submit their information as early as possible before funds run out.
For more information, contact Student Financial Services at (956) 665-2958, visit UTPA’s Express Lab or log on to www.utpa.edu/finaid.