UT to provide free tuition to families with AGI up to $65,000

I think this is great!


Great news for Texans!

Just full tuition right? No room, board, books, etc? This is coming from an incoming low income senior instate at UT … with a rank in the top 13% and applying for math - no shot at UT for me so I don’t even wanna apply lol

I think they could do better with the endowment they have.

Yes, it’s tuition and fees only. If integrated with federal aid, including Direct loans, it’s not going to cost the school that much. It also isn’t going to be helpful to those students who are accepted but live too far to commute since room, board, books, travel, living expenses can add up to $15-18k.

For such students, commuting to their local college is the only affordable option unless they seek financial and merit money from other schools.

http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/CollegeMoney/ is the current net price calculator for Texas public colleges and universities.

For a Texas family of 3 with 1 in college and parent income of $65,000, that net price calculator shows wide ranges of grant amounts (student living on campus):

UT Austin: grants $0-$26500/year, median $10492 (tuition $10314).
UT Dallas: grants $0-$19910/year, median $3800 (tuition $13442).
UT San Antonio: grants $2747-$6010/year, median $4379 (tuition $9724).

So it looks like current financial aid at UT Austin is much better than at UT Dallas and UT San Antonio, and about half of in-state UT Austin students from $65,000 income families will have their tuition covered. So the new policy should be an improvement in financial aid for some UT Austin students and probably most UT Dallas and UT San Antonio students. (Readers can try the other UT campuses if they want.) However, even improved, it may not necessarily make them affordable for those who live outside of commuting range (although if the $65,000 income parents contribute around $5,000 to $6,000, and the student takes the federal direct loan and works as much as can be reasonably be expected, that may bring them barely into affordability for those outside of commuting range).

The net prices given (note the huge ranges):

UT Austin: $718-27218/year
UT Dallas: $10054-29964/year
UT San Antonio: $18734-21997/year

This is such a feel good headline that just won’t be of much consequence. And as so many of the students are auto admit and thus often already advantaged, it is even easier to make such a splashy headline without having to actually give it teeth.

This policy only applies to UT Austin and none of the other UT schools. The Board took $160 million from the Permanent Fund to create an endowment for UT Austin only. By not including the other schools, it is just going to make UT Austin even more competitive both for incoming students and transfers. It leaves many students in this income range with little or no help.

"In an effort to ease access to college, the University of Texas pledged Tuesday to provide full scholarships to undergraduates whose families make $65,000 or less annually.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to establish a $160 million endowment from the state’s Permanent University Fund in order to offer the scholarships by fall 2020, according to a press release from the university. The money will supplement existing federal and state financial aid programs.

The move will allow the university to fully fund the education of more than 8,600 in-state students, or about a quarter of the university’s undergraduates, the release said. " …


                  Really, UT Austin is the school that needs it the least as it is so selective. Apply this to  UH, and then you might be talking.  This is just some pandering to have a Rice moment IMO. Again, so irrelevant to the majority. 

Actually, it is going to help a significant number of students. UT is saying that, presently, over 8000+ students will have their tuition covered fully and an additional 5000+ students will receive partial help. This is probably close to 30% of the undergrad population and these percentages will increase. Many students who are accepted to UT don’t attend because of the lack of financial aid. That is why I say the class rank % will decrease from 6% because UT’s acceptance yield will increase.

At the end of this article is this interesting nugget - https://www.statesman.com/news/20190709/attend-ut-for-free-after-tuesday-vote-21-of-undergrads-could - “The board also allocated $83.3 million to the Texas A&M System. How that money will be spent has not yet been decided, according to Laylan Copelin, A&M vice chancellor for marketing and communications for the system.”

Texas A&M already has a program like this. They’ve had it for quite a while. It does have a $60,000 AGI requirement.

However, the net price calculator at http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/CollegeMoney/ suggests that a Texas student from a $60,000 income family is likely to get FA grants lower than Texas A&M tuition (for the College Station, Kingsville, and International campuses).

Although that calculator shows more average grant money from UT Austin than UT Dallas, I think in reality most students that make the admissions cut into UT Austin probably have strong enough GPA/SAT to get a sizable AES Scholarship to UT Dallas not reflected by that calculator.

Remember that because of the top 6% rule, a lot of students from the poor areas of the state will get auto admittance. And they are not “advantaged!” This new policy will help them.