New scholarship program to help first-generation college students

First-generation college students now have another way to pay for their higher education through a new scholarship program at the University of Houston-Victoria.

The Generation Proud Scholarship Program is funded through a $25,000 grant UHV recently received from the Greater Texas Foundation in Bryan.

"These scholarship funds will give first-generation college students who might not otherwise have the financial means to obtain a higher education the chance to do so," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "We thank the Greater Texas Foundation for helping us make a difference in these students' lives and increasing the education level across the state."

Those who apply for the fall scholarships must have at least a 2.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), be a first-generation college student and show financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, UHV Financial Aid Director Carolyn Mallory said. They also must complete the UHV Scholarship Application and be accepted to UHV. Although there is no application deadline, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible since funding is limited.

The scholarship amounts will be based on the number of semester credit hours a qualified student is taking:

  • One to five credits - $900
  • Six to eight - $1,800
  • Nine to 11 - $2,700
  • 12 or more - $3,600

"The scholarships will help students achieve their educational dreams," Mallory said. "This is the third scholarship, in addition to the Haynes/Mickelson Endowed Scholarship and the Laying the Foundation Scholarship, that we've been able to offer first-generation college students."

This is the second year of the statewide Greater Texas Foundation Generation Proud Scholarship Program, but it is the first year UHV has received a grant. The foundation distributed $500,000 in 2008 through the program to universities across the state.

"Assisting first-generation college students is one of the surest ways we can increase the number of Texans achieving college graduation," said Wynn Rosser, executive director of the Greater Texas Foundation. "The Greater Texas Foundation is pleased UHV is committed to serving this critical student population, and we are happy to provide financial assistance to help remove barriers to higher education."

Ovidio Garcia, community college program coordinator for Letting Education Achieve Dreams, a UHV program that encourages first-generation college students to continue their education, said that LEAD is encouraging qualified students to apply for the scholarships.

"These scholarships are a great thing to have," he said. "As a first-generation college graduate myself, I can appreciate any help that's out there for our students."

For more information about the scholarship program, contact UHV Student Solutions at 361-573-0000, 1-800-687-3738 or Those interested also can go to the UHV Financial Aid Web site at and click on "How to Apply" to access information about applying for financial aid and scholarships.

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