UTRGV announces free tuition for low-income families


EDINBURG, TEXAS (Border Report) ⁠— The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which caters to a mostly Hispanic student population on the South Texas border, has announced free tuition for certain students that could make college affordable for many families in the Rio Grande Valley.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey on Monday said that starting in fall 2020, families making less than $75,000 and students who meet certain academic qualifications, will have free tuition and fees.

“I’m thrilled to announce that beginning in fall 2020, UTRGV will completely cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying students,” Bailey said at a news conference that was attended by Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez and two state senators.

UTRGV Tuition Advantage is open to all in-state undergraduate students, including incoming freshmen and returning and transfer students, who meet the program’s requirements. This includes minimum scores on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams for incoming freshmen, and/or being in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. Students also must maintain a minimum of 2.5 grade point average.

University officials are calling it “the most expansive free-tuition program among public institutions in the state of Texas.”

The announcement comes after the University of Texas at Austin in July announced it would be offering free tuition for qualifying students whose families make less than $65,000 per year.

“The ability to pay for college should not be a determining factor in who attends a UT institution,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said.

“We applaud UTRGV for launching this extraordinary program to make a high quality college education more accessible and affordable for all,” UT System Chancellor James Milliken said.

Ingrid de la Torre, a first-generation student, commented after the announcement that this will “really open doors and those barriers for those students.”

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.

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