Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.36
Liaison Marianella Franklin
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.98 / 4.00 Karla Flores
Director of Financial Aid
Financial Aid Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of need met, on average, for students who were awarded any need-based aid :

Percentage of students graduating without student loan debt:

Percentage of entering students that are low-income:

Graduation/success rate for low-income students:

A brief description of notable policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

UTRGV is ranked First in Texas and second nationally among public universities for lowest net price of attendance for students whose household income is below $75,000. https://www.utrgv.edu/newsroom/2022/09/01-utrgv-named-second-among-texas-public-universities-in-latest-washington-monthly-rankings.htm

1. UTRGV Tuition Advantage Grant.
The UTRGV Tuition Advantage is a program designed to fully cover tuition and mandatory fees by first utilizing federal and state aid, like Federal Pell and Texas Grant, scholarships and other gift aid. Any remaining tuition and mandatory fees not covered by these programs will be covered by UTRGV Tuition Advantage for eligible students with a family adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less. UTRGV Tuition Advantage is renewable.

UTRGV ranks first among nation’s public institutions for least student debt

2. Per the Texas Education Code, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley designates 20% funding from tuition fees for low-income students. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules and procedures to determine financial need is based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.56.htm#56.031

3. Enroll in 15 hours is an incentive program designed to pay for additional courses when a student enrolls in after more than 12 hours. If a student enrolls in 15 hours, the extra class is free. If a student enrolls in 18 hours, the two extra classes are free. There is no financial aid application or separate application required! This award only applies to those students paying in-state tuition.

4. The UTRGV Financial Aid Office offers a grant to eligible non-resident students. The eligibility of this grant will be based on financial need.

A brief description of notable policies or programs to support non-traditional students:

Student Support Services (SSS), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is a TRIO program dedicated to increasing the retention and graduation rates for low income, first-generation, and/or students with documented disabilities at the UTRGV. This grant has been 100% federally funded by the United States Department of Education to serve 275 participants annually in the amount of $298,046.00 per year for a period of five years (2015-2020).

The mission of the College Access Outreach Programs is to extend educational opportunities and access to higher education to all segments of the local community, particularly those who have been traditionally underserved. We are dedicated to providing accurate and timely information, matriculation services and application assistance. Furthermore, we are committed to academic excellence, social and professional development, while providing learning opportunities, programs and services that will prepare students to serve, lead, and become engaged members of the community.
Contributions for success come from our College Access Outreach programs:
The TRIO Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley is a FREE, non-credited, pre-college program federally funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post-secondary Education
The primary goal of TRIO VUB is to prepare eligible veterans to enter college, be successful in college, and to graduate from college. Students create and utilize an Individual Education Success Plan that details their education and career goals and the time frames to accomplish them. Regardless, of whether a veteran wants to complete a high school equivalency program or a bachelor's degree, individualized and personalized attention is granted to all participants.
TRIO VUB provides 125 Cameron County eligible veterans with academic instruction and support services every year. Classes are held on a continuous basis throughout the year during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Academic classes in math, composition, literature, laboratory science, and foreign language are offered in addition to academic and personal advisement, financial and economic literacy presentations, plus college and career success workshops. The program also refers participants to other support services on and off campus based on their respective educational and personal need.


The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) is a comprehensive federally-funded program of adult education that strives to assist migrant-farm worker individuals to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma. HEP is committed to the pursuit of student empowerment through education with a common vision of respect and growth that promotes lifelong learning, community involvement, and cultural diversity. HEP helps migratory and seasonal farmworkers (or children of such workers) who are 16 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in school to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma and, subsequently, to gain employment or begin postsecondary education or training. The program serves 100 students annually.

The Collegiate Recovery Program are non-clinical services to help students work through the process of recovery from addictive behaviors such as substance abuse. It is an opportunity to find support by connecting with fellow students who are also going through recovery. It is also a way to connect with professional help if needed.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) exists to ensure all students are able to participate in the full range of college experiences. Promoting an environment that is free of physical and attitudinal barriers while fostering independence and self-advocacy.

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

Website URL where information about the institution’s accessibility and affordability initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:



Percent on Financial Aid: 84%
Financial aid data refer to full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students in 2019-2020.

UTRGV ranks first among nation’s public institutions for least student debt

The institution’s policies and programs on affordability and access work towards the sustainable development goal of Quality Education and Reduced Inequalities by making education accessible and affordable to low-income students and supporting non-traditional students.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.