For Summer or Fall, TAMIU Urges Investment in Futures

For Summer or Fall, TAMIU
Urges Investment in Futures

In today’s embattled job market, weakened economy and overall global downward trend, it seems hard to find a bright spot. But historically, downturns have always been anchored by efforts to identify ways to reinvent and retool for the changes ahead.

Higher education is considered the primary catalyst to reinvent and reinvest in one’s self, to help enhance abilities for a changing job world and to elevate quality of life as well.

At Texas A&M International University’s Recruitment Office, there’s been a spike in interest at all levels.

“From our high school on-site visits to participation in transfer fairs and graduate studies fairs, we’re definitely seeing greater interest in the University,” said Dr. Minita Ramirez, TAMIU dean of Student Success.

“Today, more than ever, higher education is an investment. The University’s programs are excellent, are faculty is gifted and our students are committed to succeeding. From remarkable learning initiatives to financial aid and Study Abroad to career placement, the University is a proud partner in all our students’ futures. We’ve been blessed by state, federal and private support that make all this possible. Truly, investment in higher education at TAMIU is the return of a lifetime,” Dr. Ramirez said.

Laura Elizondo, TAMIU director of Financial Aid, concurred, noting the University is especially encouraging early application for financial aid in light of increased need.

“We are very aggressive about helping our students and their families to fund their education and have a number of programs that are really making a difference in the lives of our students and their families and their ability to fund higher education. Assistance ranges from scholarships and grants to Work-Study and Student Loan programs. The important thing to recall with the current state of the economy is that many are seeking assistance, so we are strongly encouraging early application for financial assistance,” said Elizondo.

One such program that has proven immensely popular is the University’s “Dusty Promise,” which since 2007 has awarded $2.7 million and helped 491 students to come to TAMIU. The Promise, as it’s known, is directed to admitted students whose families earn less than $30,000 annually. Funding comes from TAMIU’s operating budgets and, in some cases, is covered by federal, state or grant sources and scholarships.

Elizondo said Washington’s recently passed economic stimulus package included a sizable increase for the Pell Grant program, projected at an additional $400 or $500 per maximum award. Awards can range from $976 to $5,350.

She said another group that should find returning to school especially attractive will be Veterans eligible for the new GI Bill taking affect Aug. 1, 2009.

“Called the GI Bill for the 21st Century, this is the most comprehensive education benefits package since the original 1944 GI Bill was signed into law. Veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001, get full tuition and fees, a new monthly housing stipend, and a $1,000 a year stipend for books and supplies. The new bill also gives Reserve and Guard members who have been activated for more than 90 days since 9/11 access to the same GI Bill benefits,” Elizondo said.

Other programs she encourages parents to explore with their students include:

  • For Current High School Students: Qualified students take Advanced Placement courses and cut University costs by earning University credit in advance. Also, Dual enrollment, mandated by House Bill 1, with participation by all local school districts, insures students can take up to 12 hours in University credit classes, while still in high school.
  • For Recent Graduates: ROTC program participation at TAMIU can provide a broad range of financial assistance.

Elizondo also reminds that scholarships are not just the realm of those holding 4.0 GPAs or specific career goals. A variety of scholarships are available for all students with various needs and abilities.

For additional information on enrollment for the summer and Fall at TAMIU, contact the TAMIU Office for Recruitment and School Relations at 326-2270, e-mail enroll@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu/enroll or visit Student Center, room 126.

For graduate school information, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at 326.3020, e-mail graduateschool@tamiu.edu, visit Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 326 or click on tamiu.edu/gradschool/

For financial aid information, call offices at 326.2225, visit Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library offices, room 158, e-mail financialaid@tamiu.edu or click on tamiu.edu/affairs/financial

Hours for all three offices are Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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