10:32 AM

Scholarship Program Aids UH System Students Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Scholarships made possible by $500,000 grant from the Qatar Harvey Fund and the Rebuild Texas Fund

A new scholarship program will assist students at the four University of Houston System universities who are still struggling to recover from the long-term devastation of Hurricane Harvey. A $500,000 donation from the Rebuild Texas Fund via the Qatar Harvey Fund will provide scholarships of up to $5,000 per student to a minimum of 300 students at the University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria. The average scholarship is expected to be $1,667 per student.

The lasting impact of Harvey forced 279 students across the four UHS universities to fully withdraw from classes and 880 others to partially withdraw. The Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship program at the University of Houston System will help students during the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters with unmet costs of attendance such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies, and transportation expenses.

“Hurricane Harvey tested our resilience as a university system and as a city, but together we stood strong. However, like so many others in our region, some students continue to struggle,” said Renu Khator, University of Houston System chancellor. “I am extremely grateful to the Qatar Harvey Fund and Rebuild Texas Fund for supporting these students and giving them an opportunity to pursue their educational goals.”

The Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship program at UHS is the third such program created by the Qatar Harvey Fund and Rebuild Texas Fund to assist students in southeast Texas. The two funds also jointly established similar scholarships at Houston Community College and Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.

“Qatar has deep ties in Houston and southeast Texas through many years of economic and educational exchange,” said His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. “When we understood the scale of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, there was no question that Qatar would help this region’s long recovery process.”

Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding and wind devastated the city of Houston and Southeast Texas in August 2017. The broad destruction along the Gulf Coast significantly impacted all four UHS universities. Flooding inundated buildings, roads and natural wetland spaces in and around each campus.

Each of the four universities has already contacted students who may be eligible for this assistance and invited them to apply. Students will be notified of any scholarships granted beginning April 16 through June 15.

While priority will be given to students who have exhausted all other forms of aid and/or are nearing graduation, the following students are eligible for a scholarship under the program:

  • Students who withdrew in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and have not re-enrolled.
  • Students who have reduced their credit hours as a result of Harvey’s impact.
  • Students facing financial challenges in maintaining their current enrollment due to ongoing hardship.

The Rebuild Texas Fund, a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation, was created to support the rebuilding of Texas communities hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. The State of Qatar created the Qatar Harvey Fund in 2017, pledging $30 million to support the people of Texas in the aftermath of the hurricane. Chancellor Khator is a member of the Qatar Harvey Fund’s Advisory Board.

UHD students can apply for the Qatar Harvey Fund scholarship program here.

About the University of Houston System
The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions with a global reach that serves to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; the University of Houston-Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and the University of Houston- Clear Lake, a four-year university with undergraduate and graduate programs. The system also has several teaching sites, including UHCL Pearland Campus, UHD Northwest, UH Katy, UH Sugar Land and UHV Katy. In addition, the System owns and operates Houston Public Media (HPM), which comprises KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station. To learn more about the UH System, click here.

About the Qatar Harvey Fund and the State of Qatar
Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, the State of Qatar announced a gift of $30 million for the long-term recovery of the storms victims in Texas. The Qatar Harvey Fund was created to administer the gift. Qatar is an independent state in the southern Arabian Gulf. It has a population of approximately 2.7 million people, the majority of whom live in and around Doha, the capital. Diplomatic relations with the United States were established in 1972; in the same year, Qatar’s first diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. opened. The relationship between the two countries has always been friendly, highly productive, and reciprocal. Qatar is home to many Americans, and the United States is both Qatar’s largest foreign investor and its largest source of imports. Qatar-U.S. relations are growing continuously in multiple areas: economic, political, military, educational, and cultural. Qatar is a close ally of the United States and a strong advocate of building a peaceful, prosperous, and stable Middle East. Qatar has provided significant humanitarian and development assistance to countries around the world, including the United States.

About the Rebuild Texas Fund
The Rebuild Texas Fund is a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation, established to support the rebuilding efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Rebuild Texas Fund works alongside organizations within the impacted communities that are making an impact in the following six focus areas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and childcare; transportation and workforce; and capital for rebuilding small businesses. The Rebuild Texas Fund will continue to fund projects and organizations within these areas through 2019. Funding through the Rebuild Texas Fund is provided to eligible nonprofit, government, corporate, and philanthropic organizations working on the ground in Texas communities that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. More information about the Rebuild Texas Fund is available at www.rebuildtx.org. 

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.