TAMIU Targets Expansion of Successful Efforts at Free Tuition

TAMIU Targets Expansion of Successful
Efforts at Free Tuition

Texas A&M International University officials say that while other universities are just launching “free tuition” campaigns, TAMIU is expanding its dedicated efforts to help qualified students receive a virtually no-cost higher education.

“While others may be starting programs, we’re hoping to expand what’s basically ingrained in the culture of our service here,” said Dr. Ray Keck, president. “Last fall, using this same approach, we provided over $1.2 million in assistance, with some 244 students qualifying for four academic years of tuition and fee costs to attend the University,” he explained.

Students eligible for these assistance packages must be full-time and from low-income families with households in which the combined income is less than $30,000 annually, he said.

The assistance package combines federal, state and institutional funds to meet the tuition and fees for eight 15-hour semesters. Book and housing costs are not included. Keck noted the University has been fortunate to be able to combine these various funds to help students meet their tuition and fee costs.

“This is the sort of assistance that students need and we consider ourselves fortunate, along with the state and federal government who have provided these funds, to give our students and their families what they need most….help,” he noted.

Keck was also was quick to point out that students receiving the package also must make a commitment to succeed.

“They must take the required course load and they must maintain a 2.5 Grade Point Average. We also want to motivate them to complete their degree program in four years so that they can enter their profession and begin to reap the quality of life enhancement that comes with attaining their degree,” Keck said.

While up to $350,000 in funds have been set aside for students who qualify, the University is aggressively seeking ways of expanding funding for this assistance and other scholarship initiatives. Based on previous numbers of students who qualified, the University is projecting 305 students will qualify, a 25% increase.
 Deadline for consideration for qualified students is Wednesday, April 30, 2008. Students must be admitted to TAMIU,enroll 15 hours each semester and submit a FAFSA application.

“This Wednesday, for example, we’re hosting a Phonathon here on campus from 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. to try and secure additional scholarship donations from our community. Our goal is $250,000 and will help us to continue to help our students secure their higher education,” he explained.

Keck said the University’s drive for additional support has been prompted by its State-recognized growth.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had a 39 percent enrollment growth to over 5,000 students, which effectively drains the University’s scholarship pool. We have received federal funds and donations from private philanthropy, but increases in tuition and fees dictate a compassionate need to raise additional money for scholarships,” he said.

Keck said he is confident that the University’s efforts to secure donations will succeed, but wants all students to know that the University’s financial aid team is committed to finding solutions for all those needing assistance.

“These programs are just some of the programs available. If students want to attend the University, we’ll work with them to get them the assistance they need,” he concluded.

For additional information, contact the University’s Office of Financial Aid at 326.2225, visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 158 or e-mail financialaid@tamiu.edu

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