10:43 AM

Gator Pledge Helps UHD Students Graduate Debt Free

Program Covers Tuition, Fees for Students with Family Incomes at $50K or Less


By Mike Emery

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) has helped many Houstonians realize their dreams of earning their bachelor’s degrees from an institution of higher education. Through a number of University initiatives, students have been able to Finish UHD Strong with little or no debt.

Among UHD’s programs aimed at helping students succeed academically without financial worry is the Gator Pledge. This program helps incoming freshmen with family incomes of $50,000 or less by covering tuition and fees for up to four years.

To be eligible for the Gator Pledge, students must be:

  • First-time-in-college freshmen entering UHD for the Fall 2019 term
  • Texas residents
  • High school graduates with recommended or distinguished diplomas
  • A member of a household with an annual adjusted gross income not exceeding $50,000
  • Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant (with all financial aid forms and supporting documents submitted by May 1)
  • Enrolled as a first-time student at UHD with a minimum of 24 credit hours taken during a 12-month period

Students who meet this criteria can receive free tuition and fees for up to four years if they meet academic and financial aid eligibility and maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Tuition and fees covered by the Gator Pledge are for fall and spring semesters only, and students’ eligibility is based on Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FASFA) information.

“This institution is one that's founded on access and success,” said Daniel Villanueva, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management at UHD. “It provides our students with greater social mobility, particularly those who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. We’re proud to deliver such a program to them … one that funds their higher education and helps them earn their degrees.”

Until this year, the Gator Pledge had served students with families earning $45,000 or less. By increasing the annual income requirements to $50,000, more students will be eligible for this program, Villanueva noted.

The Gator Pledge complements UHD’s status as the most affordable university in Houston and one of the most affordable in Texas. Additionally, the University is among the institutions with the lowest net price tuition in the nation according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education’s College Affordability and Transparency rankings.

“Expanding the Gator Pledge broadens students’ access to higher education opportunities,” Villanueva said. “This will offer more students an opportunity to engage with UHD and have all of their tuition costs covered.”

For additional details, visit the Gator Pledge website or contact UHD’s Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid at uhdfinaid@uhd.edu or call 713-221-5880.

The Gator Pledge was recently featured on FOX26's "The Isiah Factor."

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.