UHCL seeks to ease students’ financial burdens during pandemic

May 14, 2020 | UHCL Staff

UHCL seeks to ease students’ financial burdens during pandemic

University of Houston-Clear Lake will offer students numerous financial opportunities to help them continue their education.

Students signing up for summer sessions will have certain fees credited back to their accounts, including the International Education Fee; Recreation and Wellness Facility Fee; and the Student Center Fee. Open registration for summer runs through June 5, with late registration running through June 10.

“We want to give students every opportunity possible to reach their educational goals,” President Ira K. Blake said. “We have multiple ways to help them do that. We have reduced some of the fees for summer. With some of the funds we received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act, we have provided $1.1 million to more than 4,000 students to help decrease their costs. In addition to over $4 million we have already committed, we have pledged approximately $6 million dollars in fee waivers and institutionally funded scholarships. We are working tirelessly to assist students with solutions to continue progress toward fulfilling their dreams.”

The federally-supported CARES Act recently provided UH-Clear Lake more than $5.5 million to cover expenses related to disruptions during the spring semester resulting from the pandemic. The funds cover financial aid, which can include support for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare, and direct costs related to a seamless and engaging transition to online classes.

Through several key university initiatives and programs, students can apply for and receive money to support their educational pursuits. Freshman students will benefit from the Hawk Promise, a program that provides students who meet eligibility requirements and have a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less free tuition beginning this fall. Eligible students must qualify for Federal Pell grants. The Take Off Award, also designed for freshman students, provides tuition costs adjustments of up to $500 to students who may not be eligible for grants or loans. A similar program called the Take Off Award #2 offers similar financial support to qualifying graduate students.

Graduate students may also qualify for the Soaring to New Heights Scholarship. The scholarship provides $1,000 a year to graduate students who have a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less and are enrolled in at least two classes equaling six credit hours.

The Automatic Transfer Scholarship assists undergraduate students making the leap from another university or community college to UHCL by providing a scholarship of $1,000 per semester, an increase over past Automatic Transfer Scholarships of $750. To qualify, transferring students must enroll in 12 hours and have maintained at least a 2.75 GPA at a community college.

Working with local businesses, the Employee Assistance Program will provide tuition benefits to UHCL students who have temporarily lost their job and are candidates for retraining. These funds can be used for undergraduate or graduate-level courses.

“We understand the difficulties that students are facing, and we continue to look for ways we can help them,” Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Berberich. “Educational Achievement is a key part of our recently announced Strategic Plan, and these scholarships and awards help us support that valuable tenet.”

Future and current students needing financial aid should visit the Financial Aid Office website, email uhcl_fao@uhcl.edu or call 281-283-2480.