UT Austin Offers Free Tuition to Low Income Families

Incoming Longhorns to receive more financial aid thanks to oil revenues


University of Texas at Austin students coming from low- to middle-income families will receive more tuition support, following a vote by the UT System Board of Regents to allocate $160 million from its oil endowment for increased financial assistance. Beginning in the fall of 2020, in-state students from families earning up to $65,000 will enjoy a free ride, while students from families earning up to $125,000 will receive additional financial aid. The median household income in Texas was about $59,200 in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The vote advances a program begun in 2018 aimed at making the school more affordable for Texans. Previously, under the Texas Advance Commitment program, students from families earning less than $30,000 received free tuition, and some tuition assistance was provided to families earning up to $100,000, with more than 4,000 students receiving financial support. With a new infusion of cash from the West Texas oil fields that support the state's Permanent University Fund, each year an additional 8,600 undergraduates will be able to attend the school tuition-free, and 5,700 undergrads will receive some support.

Per the latest data from the Texas Higher Educa­tion Coordinating Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for in-state UT students during the 2019-20 school year was $10,314. But the $160 million endowment will not pay for books and supplies (estimated at $700 per year), or living expenses (estimated at $11,812 per year). According to a 2018 study by the website LendEDU, UT-Austin students graduate with an average of $24,883 in debt, about 1.8% below the national average.

UT officials congratulated themselves after the vote on Tuesday afternoon; UT-Austin president Gregory L. Fenves said in a statement: "I am grateful to the UT System Board of Regents and Chairman Kevin Eltife for prioritizing students and investing in the future of our great state. ... Thanks to his leadership and the board's action, this new endowment will go a long way toward making our university affordable for talented Texas students from every background and region."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More University of Texas
Quote of the Week
Quote of the Week

Nov. 30, 2018

Why Aren’t UT Students Getting Rape Kits?
Why Aren’t UT Students Getting Rape Kits?
The numbers don’t add up

Sarah Marloff, March 30, 2018

More by Austin Sanders
Delia Garza
Delia Garza "Seriously Considering" Run for County Attorney
Supporters launch "Progressive Justice Now" draft campaign

July 18, 2019

Austin Leaders Move Forward With Homeless Aids
Austin Leaders Move Forward With Homeless Aids
Ordinance changes provide some relief despite inflammatory rhetoric

July 19, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

University of Texas, UT Austin, college tuition, student debt, Texas Advance Commitment, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Gregory Fenves, Kevin Eltife

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle