New UHV Guarantee to provide free tuition, fees for some students

The new UHV Guarantee announced on Thursday will provide free tuition and fees at the University of Houston-Victoria for new Texas freshmen and sophomores from outside the Victoria area whose families meet certain income requirements.

Beginning in the fall, freshmen and sophomores whose families have an annual income of $50,000 or less can expect to have all of their tuition and fees covered by federal, state and/or university aid while they are obtaining their bachelor’s degree. Those whose families have annual incomes from $50,001 to $90,000 will have 50 percent of their tuition and fees covered, and those with family incomes of more than $90,000 will receive up to a $1,000 UHV scholarship.

“Although UHV is one of the most affordable universities in Texas, we realized that it isn’t enough for some students who dream of achieving a higher education but whose families can’t afford the cost,” UHV President Phil Castille said. “The UHV Guarantee is our guarantee to low-income families from outside the Victoria area that we are committed to their children having access to a quality higher education.”

To be eligible for the UHV Guarantee, a student must be: 

  • A new UHV freshman or sophomore in fall 2012
  • A Texas resident from outside the Victoria area pursing an undergraduate degree
  • Eligible to receive federal, state and/or university aid
  • Taking face-to-face classes on the Victoria campus at UHV

To remain eligible for the UHV Guarantee, students must enroll in at least 12 semester credit hours at UHV each semester, remain in good academic standing and make satisfactory academic progress. The UHV Guarantee covers tuition and fees during only the fall and spring semesters.

“This will just encourage more freshmen and sophomores to come to Victoria and see all that our university has to offer,” UHV Student Senate President Emily Bergstrom said. “I know a lot of students that the UHV Guarantee will help.”

UHV already has accepted more than 750 freshmen and sophomores for the upcoming fall semester, although it is unknown how many of those students will actually enroll full time at the university.

“Our recruiting efforts for fall are going very well, and the UHV Guarantee will only help attract more freshmen and sophomores from outside the Victoria region,” said Denee Thomas, UHV senior director for enrollment management.

UHV also plans on extending and expanding its financial aid opportunities in the fall for freshmen and sophomores who currently qualify for the Jaguar Pledge. Those students may qualify to receive the UHV Guarantee, and award amounts will be based on annual family income levels and eligibility for federal and state support.

In addition to low tuition rates, the university will offer an array of financial aid options and personalized financial aid counseling for other students who do not qualify for the UHV Guarantee.

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. About 60 percent of UHV’s students in Victoria are freshmen and sophomores.

“Introducing freshman and sophomore students to Victoria has been an utterly transformative change for UHV,” Castille said. “All our planning is now enrollment-driven.”

For more information about the UHV Guarantee 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. UHV soon will be establishing a webpage with further information about conditions, restrictions and how to apply for the UHV Guarantee.

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