UT for free? Regents OK new financial assistance plan

University of Texas campus. (UT photo)
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted Tuesday to establish a $160 million endowment from the state’s Permanent University Fund that will generate funds to completely cover tuition and fees for in-state students whose families earn no more than $65,000 a year.

More than 8,600 undergraduates will benefit from the assistance.

“This will benefit students of our great state for years to come,” Board Chairman Kevin Eltife said.

Funds generated by the endowment will also provide tuition support to students with incomes of as much as $125,000 who have financial need.

That assistance will benefit another 5,700 students, the university said.

The median household income in 2017 in Texas was $59,206, according to U.S. Census figures.

“There is no greater engine of social and economic mobility than a college degree, and this initiative ensures that more Texans will benefit from a high-quality UT Austin education,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said.

“The use of Permanent University Funds to invest directly in students demonstrates the strong commitment of the Board of Regents and UT Austin to the values of public higher education,” he said.

The Permanent University Fund includes income from oil and gas royalties earned from state-owned land in West Texas.