Student debt is on the rise in the U.S.
Starting in Fall 2020, in-state undergraduate students from families earning up to $65,000 a year will receive free tuition at The University of Texas at Austin.
A financial aid plan that helps lower-and-middle class Texas families was outlined Tuesday in a letter from UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves. Students with financial need from families with incomes up to $125,000 can also receive some amount of “assured financial aid,” according to the university.
“I’m writing today with great news,” the letter begins. “The UT System Board of Regents — under the leadership of Chairman Kevin Eltife — has voted unanimously to establish a $160 million endowment for middle-and-low-income UT Austin students beginning next year.”
The president’s letter states that half of families in Texas earned less than $60,000 in 2017. The added focus on lower-to-middle income families comes with an expansion of the university’s Texas Advance Commitment, a program focused on making college more affordable.
“This action by the Board of Regents is an investment in the future of our students,” the letter states. “It is also one of the largest commitments ever made to improving college affordability among the nation’s leading public research universities.”
The letter ends: “This is an important day for The University of Texas at Austin. You should be proud. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The estimated cost of tuition and required fees to attend UT Austin for the 2019-2020 fall and spring semesters are listed at $10,314-$11,852 for a resident of Texas living on or off campus. The total cost of attendance for next year is estimated at $27,218-$28,756.