Texas A&M System Regents Approve New Grant Initiative to Plug Gap in Financial Aid

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System approved Thursday a new initiative that will help Texas A&M System students facing significant hardships to stay in school and graduate on time without incurring additional debt.

Texas A&M System leaders have identified an important gap in financial aid programs. Students who come from families with income that is too high to allow them to qualify for federal Pell Grants, but too modest to provide a cushion in case of unexpected expenses are particularly vulnerable to having their progress toward a college degree derailed. Victims of disaster, natural or otherwise, could be eligible for the grants.

The Regents’ Grants will provide undergraduates with an additional source of one-time grant funding that can help them overcome unforeseen financial hardships.

“When financial struggles hit students, the effects often linger for many years,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “I want to thank the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System for approving a grant program to protect our hard-working students from additional loans and distractions that can haunt young people for years following an unanticipated financial crisis.”

In support of the idea behind the Regents’ Grant, Chancellor Sharp told the members of Legislature’s Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Formula Funding in February that this initiative will prevent students facing financial challenges from adding to their debt by taking out additional loans.

He added that he anticipates that it will lead to an increase in graduation and retention rates at System institutions.

To be eligible, students must meet certain criteria, including a student/family adjusted gross income between $60,000 and $100,000 per year. Grants will not exceed, on a semester basis, the cost of tuition, books, lodging, and meals as published in each respective university catalogue.

The initiative that will provide up to $30 million over ten years in grant funding beginning in the fall of 2018.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.55 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.

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