Posted: 2/02/24

TAMIU Offers Students, Families Assurance After U.S. Dept. of Ed Delays with New FAFSA Application


Dr. Pablo Arenaz, President
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU President  

With the U.S. Department of Education’s recent official announcement that higher education institutions will not receive FAFSA application information until the first half of March, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) wants to assure its current and future students and their parents that the University has their back.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the University is aggressively working with students to help them navigate the Application and its challenges.

“We share the frustration of our students and their families with the continued delays in the U.S. Department of Education’s processing of the new FAFSA Application but want them to know we have their back and will continue to provide them with assistance and resources,” Dr. Arenaz said. 

TAMIU Financial Aid director Laura Elizondo, who has seen over 20 years of changes in government-provided financial aid and leads TAMIU’s solutions to complex financial aid challenges, outlined the University’s plan and response.

“Naturally, we want to be able to issue financial aid offers to our students as soon as possible. Students need to know how their aid will figure into their costs.  We want students to be informed and able to make the decisions that are best for them and their families.

“To that end, we have already extended our financial aid priority deadline to mid-March and will continue to extend it until this matter is resolved.  In the meantime, we continue to offer our FAFSA for U drives remain available to both incoming and continuing students to assist them and identify alternate resources for those with special challenges. Fortunately, TAMIU has one of the lowest tuition costs with no tuition increases since Fall 2021.  We will always work aggressively to help students and their families find the resources to attend TAMIU, ” she explained.

TAMIU vice president for Enrollment Management Juan G. García, Jr. observed that while the New Year is only a few weeks along, the University has already awarded significant financial aid.

“We’ve awarded over $4.5 million in student financial aid for 2024 already.  In 2023, our total financial aid awarded to students neared $76 million.  In November, we began awarding our freshmen Presidential Scholarships, which can range from $10,000 to $30,000 for four years for students who meet criteria including high school rank, SAT or ACT test scores,” García said. 

TAMIU’s FAFSA for U assistance drives continue through February, March, and beyond as needed.  These sessions are offered on campus in a dedicated computer lab space to assist TAMIU students in person, via phone, or through a virtual appointment as needed.   TAMIU’s Financial Aid Office also has a dedicated website with information on the new FAFSA changes and status.  It encourages students to bookmark the site and check their emails for additional updates.

Students can also access TAMIU’s Fund$Finder, a powerful search tool that helps students find scholarships on and off campus. Students can access thousands of relevant scholarships from their phones or desktops and are adaptively matched to scholarships.

FAFSA For U sessions are held in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center Testing Center Lab 201.  Monday and Tuesday sessions are available from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. while Wednesday and Thursday sessions are offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sessions began in early January 2024.

Upcoming  FAFSA For U Session dates are:

  • Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Tuesday,  March 5
  • Monday, Mar. 11
  • March 19 Tuesday 
    March 26 Tuesday 
  • April 11 Thursday 
  • April 23 Tuesday 

Students and their families can start or access the new FAFSA form by visiting StudentAid.gov and logging in.

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Financial Aid at  financialaid@tamiu.edu, or call 956.326.2225.

More on the University’s story is shared at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter-X, and YouTube.