TEXAS Grant Provides $1 Million New Reasons to Apply This Fall at A&M International

Students considering higher education now have a million more reasons to apply to Texas A&M International University this Fall.

The TEXAS Grant Program (Toward Excellence, Access and Success) has given $1 million to A&M International to award to new students for fiscal year 2001-2002. The maximum award per student is $2,688.00.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for students to pursue their higher education at A&M International. We are extremely pleased to be able to offer more financial assistance to our students to help them realize their higher education dreams," beamed Dr. Charles Jennett, president of the University.

Araceli Rangel, 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. Summers are not included in the total of attempted hours," Rangel said.

Criteria for eligibility for the TEXAS Grant Program, include that the student 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 2000 or after, Rangel explained. Applicants cannot have felony or controlled-substance related crime convictions.

Rangel outlined the process for applying for consideration for the TEXAS Grant at A&M International.

"Students will need to file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), complete a financial aid folder with the Office of Financial Aid, as well as a TEXAS Grant application form. 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.

She noted that beginning in Fall 2001, 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.

She noted that a TEXAS Grant is transferable to other 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 now Secretary of State Henry Cuellar and State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston, sponsored the legislation. Cuellar is a 1982 graduate of A&M International.

For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 956.326.2225, visit offices in Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall, room 302, 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.

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