UHV extends Jaguar Pledge to save students at least one-third of tuition, fees

The University of Houston-Victoria is extending its Jaguar Pledge for a second year to make obtaining a higher education more affordable for new Texas freshmen coming to the university from outside the Victoria region.

The financial aid opportunity announced on Monday could consist of federal, state and institutional scholarships and grants, and will cover at least 33 percent of the cost of tuition and fees for these incoming students during both their freshman and sophomore years. The Jaguar Pledge also will be extended for current UHV freshmen who will be second-year students at the university in the fall.

“We want all students who have a desire to obtain a bachelor’s degree to be able to afford one even in this uncertain economy,” UHV Interim President Don Smith said. “This is one way we can help those students.”

With the Jaguar Pledge, incoming freshmen could save at least $3,698 in tuition and fees over two school years if they take 15 hours each fall and spring semester at UHV. The savings is calculated based on 2010-2011 tuition and fee rates. Students are encouraged to apply for the pledge early since funds are limited.

“The Jaguar Pledge is a creative way to encourage Texas students to get their higher education and another way to help the state meet its Closing the Gaps initiative,” state Rep. Geanie Morrison said.

Closing the Gaps is an ongoing effort led by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to increase student participation, student success, excellence and research at state public universities by 2015.

Both incoming freshmen and second-year students must complete the 2011-2012 Free Application for Federal Student Aid and a UHV Scholarship Application in order to receive the Jaguar Pledge. Students also must enroll in at least six semester credit hours at UHV each semester, take face-to-face classes in Victoria, and remain in good academic standing to qualify.

“Our recruiting efforts for fall already are going well, and this opportunity will help us attract even more freshmen from outside the Victoria region,” said Denee Thomas, UHV senior director for enrollment management.

UHV has grown from an upper-division teaching center offering junior-, senior- and graduate-level classes in space leased from Victoria College to a rapidly growing institution of more than 4,000 students taking classes in Victoria, Sugar Land, Katy and online.

The university shattered its goal of attracting its FIRST 200 underclassmen to the Victoria campus in fall 2010 when it registered 218 freshmen for face-to-face classes. An additional 101 sophomores registered for face-to-face classes locally, a combination of online and face-to-face classes in Victoria, or online classes only but had Victoria addresses.

UHV already has accepted 482 freshmen for the upcoming fall semester, although it is unknown how many of those students will actually attend classes at UHV.

For more information about the Jaguar Pledge and other financial aid opportunities, call the UHV Office of Financial Aid at 361-570-4125 or toll free at 877-970-4848, ext. 4125. To view further information about conditions, restrictions and how to apply for the Jaguar Pledge, go to

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler