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Wow! This is great news for Texas residents: Yesterday, the University of Texas at Austin announced that the school would cover tuition and fees for in-state students whose families earn $65,000 a year or less.
The money comes from the state’s Permanent University Fund. UT’s Board of Regents voted to create a $160 million endowment to finance the program. According to a press release from the University, the money will be available to undergraduate Longhorns as soon as fall 2020.
Families who make up to $125,000 a year are also eligible for financial help. The new endowment promises “assured tuition support” for these students.
“Thanks to … the board’s action, this new endowment will go a long way toward making our university affordable for talented Texas students from every background and region,” said UT Austin president Gregory L. Fenves in the release.
In-state, undergrad tuition at Texas runs about $11,000 per year, depending on the courses studied.
UT Austin isn’t the only Texas university with generous financial offers. Last year, Rice University, which is private, announced a similar program.
The Rice Investment program created full tuition scholarships to undergrads from families making $65,000 to $130,000. If a family’s income is lower than $65,000, students are eligible to have their tuition, fees, and room and board covered.
Texas A&M has its own program as well. “Aggie Assurance” gives a free ride to in-state undergrads from families with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less.
Room, board, books and fees aren’t included in Aggie Assurance, though. Students have to maintain a GPA of 2.5 (about a B average) to stay in the program, too. Still, that’s a huge financial weight off the shoulders if you can swing it.
Now all you have to do is get admitted to one of these fine institutions. UT Austin’s in-state admittance rate in 2018 was 48.5 percent; A&M’s overall admittance rate lies at about 67 percent. Rice accepted only 8.7 percent of applicants in 2019.
Since many parents start saving for college when their kids are born, it’s worth a shot for free (or greatly reduced) tuition!