State Rep. Mike Villareal speaks at April 13 Downtown Campus
Villarreal announces $224M for Texas Grants program
(April 15, 2009)--State Rep. Mike Villarreal hosted an April 13 press conference at the UTSA Downtown Campus to announce a proposed increase of $224 million in financial aid for the next biennium.
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Villarreal cited a 2008 national report on higher education that gave Texas an "F" on a college affordability report card. The grade was, based on the average amount of family income dedicated to college tuition after financial aid.
Recognizing that local families are struggling even more to pay for college in light of the economic crisis, Villarreal, who sits on the budget writing committee for the Texas House, secured an additional $224 million in the current version of the budget over what was proposed by the Legislative Budget Board. The House of Representatives is expected to consider the budget April 15.
"While Texas has made incredible investments in financial aid for our students over the past 10 years, we currently fund only 50 percent of the students who are eligible for the TEXAS Grants program," Villarreal said in a written statement. "This year, that's 83,000 students. An analysis by the Legislative Budget Board determined that Texas Grants are successful at improving students' persistence and success in college."
The increased investment would ensure that funding is available for nearly 70 percent of students eligible for Texas Grants.