New program reaches out to financially disadvantaged students


Share this Story

(July 9, 2015) -- Paying for college can be rough. Everyone makes sacrifices, but now students in the College of Engineering have another option for support. The UTSA Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Retention and Success (SPURS), which will provide mentoring and assistance to financially disadvantaged students, will start accepting applications in the fall.

“Several of our academically talented students are financially disadvantaged,” said Civil Engineering Department Chair Heather Shipley, who helped create the program along with Engineering professors Ruyan Guo, Rena Bizios and Krystel Castillo. “This gives us an opportunity to give them almost full scholarships to cover their tuition for a year and give them tools that will make them successful in their careers or graduate school.”

The program was the result of an effort across all departments in the College of Engineering to reach out to students under financial strain, who will soon have the opportunity to benefit from mentoring, professional development and exposure to research in addition to help with covering tuition costs.

SPURS is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, which awarded the College of Engineering $626,890 beginning August 1st through July 2020.

“It’ll get students excited about other opportunities and activities they can have besides just going to classes and making ends meet,” Shipley said.

The objective, she said, is to attract students, retain them and help students graduate on time and jump start their careers.

“The SPURS program will provide these students not only financial assistance but also skills that will help succeed in their careers,” she said.

The first set of about 12 scholarships will go out to junior and senior-level students in the spring, for a fall start date. Those students will have top-tier research and internship opportunities as well as critical thinking and professional development workshops that will give them a boost in starting their careers in the industry or pursuing graduate school.


Learn more about the College of Engineering here.

Connect online with UTSA on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.





UTSA Bold Promise CTA

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.