Posted: 6/07/12

TAMIU Awards $2.92 Million in Scholarships to Laredo HS Grads



Hundreds of outstanding Laredo ‘Class of 2012’ high school graduates will be ‘Powered by TAMIU’ this Fall as Texas A&M International University has awarded them $2.92 million in scholarships to assist them throughout their four years of University education.

 A complete list of scholarship recipients is available here.

Laura Elizondo, Financial Aid director, said TAMIU has continued to increase the scholarship awards for incoming freshmen over the years thanks to generous donations from community philanthropists and by encouraging students to apply early for financial aid.

This year, a total of 257 ‘Class of 2012’ Laredo high school graduates have been offered scholarships to attend TAMIU.

Elizondo explained that the dollar amount of scholarships that TAMIU has awarded to first time freshmen has increased by 20 percent between last year and this year.

“By encouraging students to complete their financial aid application or FAFSA early, we are able to not only assist them with academic-based scholarships, but also with need-based scholarships,” Elizondo said.

Students can apply for financial aid starting Jan. 1. They are encouraged to apply before March 15 for priority consideration, she said.

“Students can continue to apply for financial aid throughout the year, but in order to take advantage of available scholarships, they need to apply early,” Elizondo explained.

The biggest misconception students have is that they will not qualify for financial aid because both of their parents have an income, Elizondo said.

“They should still apply for financial aid because while they might not be able to get grants, there are scholarships, campus employment or loans available,” Elizondo said.

Jessica Bustamante is a freshman starting Fall at TAMIU with a full scholarship covering her next four years of higher education.

Bustamante, daughter of Mario and Marta Bustamante, graduated as valedictorian from Nixon High School and is a recipient of the D.D. Hachar Honors Scholarship.

“I feel blessed and fortunate to receive this scholarship,” Bustamante said, “It’s amazing to be accepted into the D.D. Hachar Honors Program. I never thought of being accepted and it’s a dream come true.”

An accounting major, Bustamante said she decided to pursue higher education at TAMIU because it offers the same educational opportunities as universities out of town.

“TAMIU offered me a full ride scholarship and I liked the fact that I could stay home and study at the same time,” Bustamante said.

Marta Bustamante said she gave her daughter the choice to decide whether she wanted to pursue a four-year University degree in Laredo or out of town.

“I gave her the power to decide,” Marta Bustamante said, “Once she felt confident, she accepted the offer.”

Another freshman, Rogelio Cruz, is another recipient of the D.D. Hachar Honors Scholarship.

Cruz, the son of Rogelio Cruz and Ana Laura Luna, will major in business, with a concentration in finance.

Cruz is a top five percent graduate of the Laredo Independent School District’s Early College High School (ECHS).  ECHS students take University courses, and Cruz has already accumulated 65 TAMIU credit hours. This means that upon successfully completing his first semester as a freshman, he will automatically be considered a junior.

Cruz said he chose to attend TAMIU because he feels it provides him a safe environment where he can live on campus and study.

“I know that a lot of people go out of town to live it up,” Cruz said, “But through all that, they lose focus and that’s something I don’t want to do. I want to stay focused, and have my professors and University staff help guide me through my first year. From there, I will take the reins and continue with the rest of my University education.”

For information on Financial Aid at TAMIU, call 956.326.2225, email financialaid@tamiu.edu or visit tamiu.edu

For University information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.       

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