UTSA offers new financial aid program

By Marianne McBride Lewis
Director of Public Affairs

(Dec. 15, 2006)--UTSA officials announced today a new financial aid package effective fall 2007 for all first-time freshman Texas residents with a family income of $25,000 or less.

Students who fit the criteria will receive grants and scholarships to cover tuition and mandatory fees for four years if they complete 30 credit hours each year and maintain a grade point average of 2.0.

"At UTSA, one of our mandates is to provide access to higher education for groups traditionally underserved -- for students who are oftentimes the first in their family to attend college," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

"With this financial aid package, we want to reach out to low-income families in our region to let them know the cost of going to college just got more affordable. UTSA is going to provide a large portion of the funds needed to attend college -- at no cost to the family."

Currently, tuition and mandatory fees for 30 credit hours total approximately $6,000.

The new program, UTSAccess (Undergraduate Tuition Support and Access), includes work-study positions to enable students to work on campus 10-12 hours per week to earn money to help cover the cost of room and board and other educational expenses.

Lisa Blazer, UTSA assistant vice president for financial aid and enrollment services, said one advantage of the work-study component is that it provides part-time employment on campus with flexible work hours each semester.

"In addition to guaranteeing free tuition and mandatory fees, by getting this group of students set up for work-study jobs at school, we know they will feel more a part of UTSA, spend more time on campus, get to know more faculty and staff, and learn about services that are here to help them be successful," said Blazer.

The UTSAccess program will actively provide support programs to help students handle the 30 credit hours per year, so they can continue receiving funds and graduate on time. Support programs include increased academic advising, financial aid counseling, money management and tutoring.

To participate in UTSAccess, students with a family income of $25,000 or less must apply and be admitted to UTSA; apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline of March 31, 2007; be registered for at least 12 credit hours each semester (15 credit hours recommended); complete 30 credit hours each year; and maintain a GPA of 2.0.

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