For Immediate Release
June 29, 2006

New Grants Available for Eligible UTB/TSC Undergraduate Students 

Beginning this fall. there will be two new grant programs available to UTB/TSC undergraduate students from the U. S. Department of Education. 

The new grant programs are the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the S.M.A.R.T. Grant (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent), which eligible students can apply for. 

Mari Chapa, Director of Financial Aid at UTB/TSC, encourages students to take advantage of these new grants which will be offered soon. 

“Anytime our students can access additional federal grant funds, it is a good thing,” said Chapa. 

“Supplemental grant funds are hard to come by and students should consider all their ‘free money’ options for covering their tuition and fees before resorting to loans,” added Chapa, “because with loans, a student and or parent are looking at a minimum average loan payment period of ten years.” 

The criteria for each of the grants are as follows: 

An eligible undergraduate student may receive an Academic Competitiveness Grant (AC Grant) of up to $750 for the first academic year of study and up to $1,300 for the second academic year of study.   

To be eligible for each academic year, a student must: 

·        Be a U.S. citizen;

·        Be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;

·        Be enrolled full-time in a degree program;

·        Be enrolled in the first or second academic year of his or her program of study at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution;

·        Have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study (after January 1, 2006, if a first-year student, and after January 1, 2005, if a second-year student);

·        If a first-year student, not have been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program; and

·        If a second-year student, have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale (as set forth in regulations to be promulgated soon) for the first academic year. 

Additionally, an eligible undergraduate student may receive a National SMART Grant of up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth academic years of study.   

To be eligible for each academic year, a student must:  

·        Be a U.S. citizen;

·        Be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;

·        Be enrolled full-time in a degree program;

·        Be enrolled in a four-year degree-granting institution;

·        Major in specific physical, life or computer science, engineering, mathematics, technology, or a critical foreign language (not Spanish); additionally, a list of eligible majors at UTB/TSC will be determined.

·        Have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale (as set forth in regulations to be promulgated soon).

 

Funding for the grants, however, is limited and Chapa warns that students should look into these opportunities now because of their uncertain future. 

“This program is only funded for the next five years and the national maximum funding level is $790 million,” said Chapa, “hopefully, we can track the success of these programs and encourage Congress to continue funding the programs.” 

For more information regarding these grants, contact the Financial Aid office at (956) 882-8277.


 


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