Young Texans who are eligible for admission to Texas A&M University and whose families have incomes of $60,000 or less are now guaranteed by a new program—“Aggie Assurance”—that their tuition will be covered at no cost to them.
The program, announced by Texas A&M President Elsa Murano in her formal installation address at the university’s 2008 academic convocation, was made retroactive to include the current academic year. Thus, it will begin with more than 1,500 eligible students in the university’s record freshman class of 8,091. Included in that total are more than 500 in the “middle-income” category.
“Texas A&M University is expanding its commitment to low- and middle-income students through this new program,” Murano stated. “The program aids students by pledging to provide enough scholarships and grants to pay tuition for all eligible students. It encourages Texans to pursue higher education at a flagship research institution and is designed to reassure students from low-and middle-income families in Texas that a college education is possible, especially at Texas A&M. As part of our land-grant mission for the state, Texas A&M University is committed to providing affordable access.”
Eligible students must be Texas residents entering Texas A&M as freshmen with adjusted gross family incomes of $60,000 or less. New freshmen who meet the guidelines and maintain eligibility will be part of the “Aggie Assurance” program for a maximum of four years. To continue to be eligible for “Aggie Assurance” assistance, students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.5.
To apply for the “Aggie Assurance” program, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 31. Students can apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov .
Students may be eligible for additional grants, loans or work-study programs to cover other educational expenses such as fees, textbooks and room and board. Students whose family income exceeds $60,000 are still eligible for many other financial assistance programs and are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as well, financial aid officials emphasized.
“Aggie Assurance” builds on another Texas A&M-instituted financial aid program, the “Regents’ Scholarship,” which provides first-generation students with a family income of less than $40,000 with up to $20,000 to attend Texas A&M, officials added. Texas A&M awards an average of 600 “Regents’ Scholarships” each fall.
Additionally, approximately $448 million in various forms of financial aid is provided to Texas A&M students, financial aid officials note. They add that about 79 percent of currently enrolled students receive some type of financial aid.
When fully implemented, “Aggie Assurance” is expected to cost the university about $3 million annually—and about $300,000 this year, officials estimate.
For more information about the “Aggie Assurance” program, contact Scholarships & Financial Aid at (979) 845-3236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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