AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the State of Texas will invest $57 million in federal funds to maintain the state’s need-based financial aid programs and keep more students enrolled at their colleges and universities.
The investment of federal funds, advanced by Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, and legislative budget writers Senators Jane Nelson and Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Representatives Giovanni Capriglione and Oscar Longoria, will offset potential coronavirus-related cuts to key state financial aid programs, including TEXAS Grants, Texas Educational Opportunity Grants, and Tuition Equalization Grants.
The funding comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law by President Trump.
“As Texas responds to the economic and educational impacts of COVID-19, we want to make sure that students who depend on financial aid continue to receive the support they need to earn their college degree,” said Governor Abbott. “This funding will help keep our students on the path to finishing their education and entering the workforce with knowledge and experience that will help them launch productive careers and attract more employers to our state. These grant programs provide targeted investments in Texas students and in the future of our state.”
“Keeping Texas students on track to earn high-value credentials is vital not only for those students and their families but also to help accelerate the state’s economic recovery,” said Commissioner of Texas Higher Education Harrison Keller. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Abbott and the collaborative efforts of Lieutenant Governor Patrick, Speaker Bonnen, the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Finance and Appropriations Committees and other legislative leaders, this strategic investment in students will translate directly into a stronger, more resilient workforce for the future. Our institutions are committed to keeping students on the path to earning a credential, and each of these grant programs provides critical support for that mission.”
“Today’s funding maintains our solid investment in our higher ed students and in Texas’ future. These are tough times but we must do all we can to keep every Texas student on track,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
“In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, one of the most important drivers in jumpstarting our state’s economic recovery is Texas students having the ability and financial support needed to pursue a college degree or certificate and enter our state’s workforce with high-quality, productive careers ahead of them. This relief funding serves not only as a strategic investment in our students and the families who support them but in the future resiliency of our state’s storied economy and workforce. I am proud to join state leaders in supporting the continuity of these critical financial aid programs and believe they will go a long way to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and higher education system,” said Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
“Texas must maintain its commitment to students seeking higher education. These funds will help grow the qualified workforce our businesses need to get the economy back on track,” said Senator Jane Nelson.
“I appreciate the leadership of Governor Abbott and Commissioner Keller and their commitment to our institutions of higher education. Our universities and community colleges are the foundation of our communities. Investing in our colleges and securing financial aid for our students is critical for our recovery from this pandemic and for the economic success of Texas,” said Senator Juan Hinojosa.
“The funding decisions provide necessary resources for our higher education institutions. In order to meet the needs of the Texas workforce, it is imperative that our next generation has more opportunity to continue their training with a robust education system. Critical to that success is ensuring that student financial aid awards remain intact at a time when Texas families are struggling from the financial fallout of the shutdown. I’m proud to have worked with Governor Abbott and my legislative colleagues on these decisions ensuring that funding is available in these extraordinary times for our children who are the future of our economy,” said Representative Giovanni Capriglione.
“These financial aid programs are essential for many of our students. I commend the bipartisan effort to make sure all Texans have access to higher education,” said Representative Oscar Longoria.