University of Houston promises tuition support to students with families earning up to $65K

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The University of Houston will cover full tuition for any student whose family income totals $65,000 or less beginning in fall 2020.

The announcement was made at the UH Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 27.

Families with adjusted gross incomes between $65,001 and $125,000 will be eligible for tuition support ranging from $500 to $2,000 per year, according to a statement from the University of Houston.

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The new guidelines are part of an existing program known as 'the Cougar Promise', which began in 2008 when the income threshold for families was set at $30,000 per year. The income threshold has more than doubled since its establishment, according to the university.

"Every decision we make takes into account the needs and challenges facing our students," UH vice president for student affairs and enrollment services Richard Walker said. "We are always looking for new ways to provide support and guidance to fuel student success."

The expanded program is available to first-time freshmen for the fall semester who were admitted by January 15, 2020. Students must be full-time and qualify as Texas residents.

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The U.S. Census Bureau says the median household income in Texas in 2017 was just over $59,000.

The program's expansion comes after a number of other Texas schools lowered the income thresholds in recent years. The University of Texas at Austin announced plans in July 2019 to offer a similar program to incoming freshmen this year.

University of Texas promises free tuition to students with families earning up to $65K

Houston businessman Tilman Fertitta is chairman of the UHS Board of Regents and applauded the board's approval of the change.

"Your family's income bracket shouldn't limit your ability to achieve a college degree," Fertitta said. "Talented people come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, so I'm thrilled there will be more financial aid available for those UH students who need it most."
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