Last year, there were a million reasons. This year, there are more than two million reasons to apply to Texas A&M International University this Spring, thanks to the TEXAS Grant Program (Toward Excellence, Access and Success).
TAMIU's initial allocation of more than $1 million now includes a renewal allocation of an additional $1.1 million. The total available to students for the 2002-2003 academic year is $2.3 million. The maximum student award for the academic year is $2,950.
"We're extremely pleased to be able to support our students with this kind of financial aid. It's so important that everyone know that there are options and that higher education is obtainable and accessible," said Dr. Ray Keck, president of the University.
Laura Elizondo, director of the Office of Financial Aid, explained that students who are awarded these need-based TEXAS Grants will continue to receive the award as long as satisfactory academic progress is achieved by maintaining a 2.0 grade point average the first year and a 2.5 thereafter.
"Recipients are eligible to receive the grant six years from the start of the first semester they received the award or until the recipient has attempted 150 hours, whichever comes first. TEXAS Grants are also available for this summer," Elizondo said.
To be eligible for the TEXAS Grant Program, students must demonstrate financial need, be a Texas resident and have graduated with the recommended, advanced or distinguished high school curriculum from a Texas public or accredited high school in May 2001 or after, Elizondo explained. Applicants cannot have felony or controlled-substance related crime convictions.
Elizondo outlined the process for applying for consideration for the TEXAS Grant at TAMIU.
"Students must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and complete a financial aid folder with the Office of Financial Aid. Students who are awarded a grant need to enroll in at least nine hours in an undergraduate program. Students have 16 months from the date of high school graduation to qualify for the TEXAS Grant," she said.
"Students with associate degrees awarded in May 2001 or later can also apply for a TEXAS Grant. The associate degree replaces the recommended high school curriculum if it was received within 12 months of enrollment for a higher undergraduate degree. The number of hours a student is eligible to receive the TEXAS Grant is reduced, but all other criteria remains the same," she explained.
Elizondo noted that a TEXAS Grant is also transferable to other Texas institutions should a recipient decide to transfer.
The TEXAS Grant Program was created by the 76th State Legislature to help open the door to higher education for thousands of Texas students who otherwise would not have the financial means to pursue higher education. The initial TEXAS Grant provided $100 million to students state-wide and has since been expanded.
Former State Representative and Secretary of State Henry Cuellar and State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston, sponsored the legislation. Cuellar is a 1982 graduate of TAMIU.
For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 956.326.2225, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 157, or go online to www.tamiu.edu.
Office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, and 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.