Posted: 6/09/22

TAMIU Shares News of ‘Fresh Start 2.0’ Erase Debt Initiative Providing $352,437 for Students


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Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students who were enrolled for the Summer or Fall 2021 semesters and have an outstanding TAMIU student account balance will find that it has been erased and they are debt-free. These are balances owed to the University and do not include loans owed to third parties.

Dubbed “Fresh Start 2.0,” it’s a second offering of a previous program that wiped away over $1 million in outstanding student account balances from Spring/Summer/Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 for over 700 students.  That program and this new offering are made possible by federal funding through CARES, CRRSA, and ARP Acts designed to help students affected by COVID-19. 

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said he hopes Fresh Start 2.0 will encourage beneficiaries to continue their higher education journey.

“The University has been the fortunate recipient of federal funding to help students impacted by COVID-19.  Fresh Start 2.0 enables us to eliminate qualified students’ TAMIU student account balances so that they can return to their studies debt-free and worry-free.  We project that we’ll help 288 students to the tune of approximately $352,437.  With no business office hold, these students can continue their degree pursuit,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Fresh Start 2- eligible students will be notified of their TAMIU debt-free status via their Dusty email account beginning Monday, June 13, 2022.  Outstanding TAMIU student account balances erased range from small amounts up to $5,420.  Students can verify their new status online via the University’s Uconnect portal, choosing “Pay My Bill,” then selecting “My Account.”

“This is another way we can restore some sense of breathing room.  We hope that students will see this as a ‘fresh start’…a way to begin anew, take a deep breath and renew their journey to their degree,” Arenaz explained. 

He added that as students 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 all students to identify and explore all options to help them earn their degree. We’ve even added an online tool, TAMIU Fund$Finder, to help students find both on and off-campus  scholarships from their smartphone,” Arenaz added.

He also noted that just last week The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents announced there would be no tuition increase at TAMIU and all 11 A&M System campuses.  The Board said it is focused on “making a college education affordable for all Texans.”

“These are troubling times for all families.  The nation is moving towards Pandemic recovery, but the additional impact of inflation is troubling for all.  TAMIU’s founding mission provides our motivating anchor: we are here to bring higher education to underserved and economically-challenged communities.  With our Board’s and Chancellor John Sharp’s support, we will continue to provide the accessible, affordable and exceptional education our students and their families deserve.  We will manage our costs, and make sure that our mission is delivered, and changes lives daily,” Arenaz said.

He said TAMIU’s Summer and Fall registration is already underway and the University’s and System’s commitment to no tuition increases helps parents plan their student’s path forward.

Additional undergraduate and graduate student support programs, part of the #Comeback Programs for resuming students, are also available.  Funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, these grants provide scholarships and repayment of previous semester balances.  All are designed to help students complete their degrees.  Information on #Comeback  Programs is available at https://go.tamiu.edu/comeback , or by calling the University’s Office of Outreach and Pre-College Programs at 956.326.2270, emailing outreach@tamiu.edu, or visiting offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, Suite 138.

Visit here for detailed registration information.

TAMIU’s Fall 2022 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.

Additional University information is available online at tamiu.edu and on the University’s social media channels Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.