Posted: 6/11/21

TAMIU Fresh Start Initiative Erases Over $1M in Student Debt, Provides Opportunity to Move Forward


Dr. Pablo Arenaz
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU President  

Imagine the weight of financial debt, exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, being lifted from your shoulders…and the opportunity to move forward, debt-free, made real.

For Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students who were enrolled on or after March 13, 2020 and have an outstanding TAMIU student account balance, that debt-free dream is now a sweet reality with a new offering dubbed the “Fresh Start Initiative.”

To the tune of over $1 million dollars, outstanding TAMIU student account balances from Spring/Summer/Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 have been erased, impacting over 700  students.   The balances erased are those owed to the University and do not include loans owed to third-parties.

Eligible students will be notified of their TAMIU debt-free status via their Dusty email account beginning Monday, June 14, 2021.  Outstanding TAMIU student account balances erased ranged from small amount to just under $12,000.  Students are encouraged to verify their new status online on the University’s portal, Uconnect,  choosing “Pay My Bill,”  and selecting “My Account.”

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said this sort of opportunity is unheard of, and he hopes it encourages Fresh Start Initiative beneficiaries to continue their higher education journey.

“The University has been the fortunate recipient of federal funding provided by the CARES, CRRSA and ARP Acts…all of which help students affected by the impact of COVID-19.  We’ve used some of these funds to eliminate qualified students’ TAMIU student account balances so that they can  return to their studies debt-free and worry-free. In short, with these outstanding student account balances erased, students no longer have a business office hold, “ Dr. Arenaz said.

He noted many TAMIU students and their families have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic:  suffering losses including the lives of loved ones, employment and financial security. 

“This is one way that we are helping to restore some sense of breathing room.  It’s our hope that these students will be able to see this as a ‘fresh start’…a way to begin with a clean slate, take a deep breath and renew their journey to their degree,” Arenaz explained. 

He added that should students opt to return to the University this Summer or Fall, a broad spectrum of additional financial support is available. 

“We have been able to robustly build our available student financial assistance and will work with these students to identify and explore available options so they can earn their degree,” he added.

Arenaz observed that those students who were not eligible for the Fresh Start Initiative will still be able to explore expanded financial aid assistance available this Fall and Spring.

“As parents and students themselves plan their undergraduate or graduate degree, we urge them to explore these options.  In my lifetime, I cannot recall another period in our country’s history when so much financial assistance has been made available to students who want to realize their higher education dreams.  This May, over 800 TAMIU students earned their degrees.  We hope the Fresh Start Initiative provides eligible students with the extra help they need to move them closer to celebrating their own graduation. We want to see all TAMIU students succeed…that’s what we’re all about,” he concluded. 

TAMIU Summer and Fall Registration is underway.  For detailed registration information, visit https://go.tamiu.edu/registration21. 

TAMIU’s Fall 2021 Plans are focused on a return to a full and vibrant on-campus experience for all students, faculty and staff at the 300-acre northeast Laredo campus.


En Español.