COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - As the University of Texas in Austin is making a splash in the headlines with a new tuition grant program, Texas A&M University's president is commenting on the move: "I applaud the University of Texas for following our lead."
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young is referencing the Aggie Assurance Program, which covers the tuition for all students whose families’ have an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less. Last year, the program paid the tuition for 6,726 students. The program has been in place since 2011.
"The average family income in Texas is actually just slightly below $60,000 [per year]," said Young on First News at Four. "We want everybody to have access to higher education who are prepared and ready for it, but some don't have the resources, and that shouldn't be a roadblock."
Furthermore, in April 2018, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents created the Regent’s Grant, setting aside $30 million to provide undergraduates with one-time grants that help them overcome unforeseen financial hardships. The grants target students from families with adjusted gross incomes between $40,000 and $100,000.
"[Those students] are in that space where they don't quite qualify for all the range of financial assistance, but they're not flush enough that they don't have financial emergencies," Young said. "If those emergencies occur, we want those kids to be able to continue to focus on their studies and to graduate."
As for the tens of millions allocated to Texas A&M by the state legislature this session, Young says the Board of Regents will be presented with a plan in August that could include more student assistance.
For the full conversation, see the video player above.