TAMIU Financial Aid Office Extends Hours of Operations

In an effort to provide as much information as possible about financial aid services and programs to current and potential students, the Texas A&M International University Financial Aid Office has extended operating hours for the months of July and August.

Laura Elizondo, director of financial aid, said the expanded operating hours will offer interested individuals additional opportunities to receive information and assistance .

"Beginning July 9, our office hours will be from 8:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Friday," she said.

"We are eager to share information about our programs, including our expanded TEXAS Grant program which offers student aid totaling $2.3 million for this Fall at TAMIU. The maximum student award for the academic year is $2,950," she explained.

She noted 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," she said.

Elizondo said students may also want to explore student loan consolidation.

"There's been a lot of interest in loan consolidation lately with the lowering of the interest rate on loans to 4 percent effective July 1, 2002. We'll be happy to help students explore loan consolidation and share important tips and considerations," she said.

Elizondo noted that the lower interest rate occurs because the interest rates on most federal student loans are variable, but the interest rate on a federal consolidated loan is a fixed rate and locked in for the life of the loan. Interest rates on federal Stafford loans are recalculated annually each July 1, and fluctuate with the rate of short-term federal securities.

For additional information, visit offices now located in Killam Library 158, call 326.2212 or email financialaid@tamiu.edu. Questions about loan consolidation can also be answered by contacting the U.S. Dept. of Education Student Financial Assistance Ombudsman at the Ombudsman Customer Service Line is 1-877-557-2575.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu