State aid not equal for all universties
For some students in Texas, financial aid is the deciding factor on whether they will continue their education at their respective institutions.
According to the office of scholarships and financial aid, more than 80 percent of the students at UH receive financial aid.
For political science sophomore Marquis Crowder, financial aid is the reason he did not return to school this semester. Crowder and many students probably would have received the financial aid they needed if state funding were distributed among public institutions evenly.
In 2009, the state funded the University of Texas at Austin with the sum of $540 million dollars, and funded Texas A&M University with $478 million dollars while UH only received $288 million in state funding last year. While these institutions receive more money than any other schools in the state almost certainly because of their flagship status, others that have not reached flagship have to manage the funds that the state provides them with.
The state of Texas spends millions of dollars every year on students who do not need financial aid, while not adhering to the needs of low-income students who actually need the monetary assistance. Low-income students are then placed into a financial bind because the institutions they receive acceptance from are not flagship schools, according to a recent article on edutrust.com.
The office of scholarships and financial aid advisor Sofia Garza said students who receive financial aid receive an adequate amount of money depending on their financial status, regardless of UH’s status.
“Their aid is based on their FAFSA application, and it is mandated by the Department of Education,” Garza said. “(Flagship) is a status that we definitely need to pursue, but students would still have the financial support regardless.”
UH students who receive financial aid claim that it would be convenient for more aid to be disbursed in a struggling economy where tuition seems to be on a continual rise.
“Financial aid has been a problem for me and my friends for years. It seems like if you come from a high-income family then you don’t get any money and if you come from a low-income family they don’t give you enough money. Either way the person is in a very frustrating predicament,” economics senior Aurelio McLenan said.
Psychology senior Ashley Gordon said she would like for UH to receive more state funding for financial aid, but she knows this will take time.
“If UH becomes a (flagship) school and we can receive more state funding as far as financial aid is concerned, then that would make my life easier,” Gordon said. “However, people need to understand for this university to receive the benefits of (flagship) status, we must endure the journey of getting there. Overall, I feel it will be very efficient and beneficial for all involved.”