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.”
The Gator Pledge was recently featured on FOX26's "The Isiah Factor."
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—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 Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.