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Texas A&M system approves $100 million scholarship fund to diversify campuses

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:57:36-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has announced a $100 million scholarship fund with the goal of making the A&M System’s 11 universities better reflect the state’s demographics.

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp has announced the scholarship fund as the university system looks to diversify its campuses.

“The primary purpose of this particular fund is trying to get more underrepresented, underserved students into A&M and the A&M system,” said Texas A&M Board of Regents Member Bill Mahomes.

The aid comes at a time when protests are being held on the College Station campus over the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue. The Board of Regents says the diversifying scholarship fund has been in the works for some time.

“Even though we are doing it at this time, it just happened to be timely. This is something we have been concerned about for a very long time,” said Mahomes.

The program will disburse $10 million annually over 10 years, with priority given to students who are low income, first-generation, and from geographically underrepresented regions of the state.

“I see students who did not go to college primarily because they don't have funding,” said Mahomes.

For first-generation student Katherine Garcia, she is very excited to see this opportunity for future Aggies.

"Definitely makes me so excited. Reading that made me so happy because I am on scholarships myself and just working to help pay for my tuition so my parents don't have to worry about having to provide for me being up here,” she said.

Mahomes says affordability is the fund's sole focus.

“We do believe this will be a primary factor in both recruiting students and keeping students here who might be going to another place,” he said.

Chancellor’s Sharp said, "This scholarship fund has been in the works for years but with the financial challenges from COVID-19, now is the time to do this."

Currently, white students comprise more than half of the student population at A&M's College Station campus. Black students make up less than 4%, according to 2019 data. Hispanic and Asian students make up 21% and 8% of the student population, respectively. Meanwhile, the state’s population is 41% white, 39% Hispanic, and 12% Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.