THE VALUE OF A
UH Extends Income Requirement
for Tuition Coverage Program
S tarting this fall, eligible freshmen from families with adjusted gross incomes up to $65,000 will receive guaranteed coverage of tuition and mandatory fees through the Cougar Promise.
This raises the program’s previous income threshold by $15,000 and supports the University’s commitment to ensuring students from low- and middle-income families have access to a quality college education. Additionally, qualified students from families with adjusted gross incomes between $65,000 and $125,000 are also eligible for financial support ranging from $500 to $2,000 per year.
“Making college education affordable and accessible is at the foundation of our mission and critical for so many aspiring students across the income spectrum,” said Renu Khator, University of Houston president. “By expanding our financial support program to reduce financial barriers, we will help more students fulfill their dreams of earning a college degree.”
Income Threshold Doubles Since 2008
The income threshold for Cougar Promise eligibility has more than doubled since the program started in 2008. For Richard Walker, UH vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, the expansion of the program aligns with the well-established, student-focused culture on campus.
“Every decision we make takes into account the needs and challenges facing our students,” Walker said. Approximately 74% of UH undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. “We are always looking for new ways to provide support and guidance to fuel student success.”
Cougar Promise is available for full-time freshmen who are admitted by January 15 for fall 2020 enrollment. Approximately 2,000 freshman additional students will be impacted by the program each year. To qualify, students must be a Texas resident and demonstrate financial need preventing them from covering the cost of tuition and fees. To be eligible for yearly renewal, students must earn at least at 2.5 cumulative grade point average and earn a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year.
“Making college education affordable and accessible is at the foundation of our mission and critical for so many aspiring students across the income spectrum.”
More than $285 million was awarded in financial assistance in 2019 from all sources — federal Pell Grants, Texas Grants, philanthropy through scholarships and institutional funds through budget priorities. Of that, $53 million came from UH need-based and merit-based grants and scholarships. Khator said the university’s first priority is to ensure all UH students, regardless of their financial situations — are successful. Nearly half of UH’s enrollment is comprised of first-generation college students, the first in their families to attend college in the United States who often face significant financial challenges.