Texas A&M University-Commerce has partnered with five other Texas higher education institutions for “Project Complete,” an initiative that provides grant funds to students who want to return to school and complete their degree.
Through a competitive application process, the funds, totaling $300,000, were awarded from the Texas Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund and are part of the Texas Reskilling Support Grant Program, which helps people who are currently out of school but near degree completion, to return to the classroom and earn their degrees. There are currently close to 4 million adults in the state of Texas with some college credit and no degree.
“For those who began college but were unable to finish for whatever reason, this funding opportunity may the perfect incentive to provide a credential needed in today's changing job market,” said Dr. Yvonne Villanueva-Russell, dean of the College of Innovation & Design, and lead investigator for the grant.
State eligibility rules specify that, to qualify, a student must:
- Be a Texas resident.
- Not have attended any institution of higher education in fall 2020.
- Complete the 20-21 FAFSA (for spring 2021 semester) and/or the 21-22 FAFSA (for fall 2021 semester) at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa and be eligible for aid. This is a last-dollar award that can only go toward tuition and fees.
- Have a plan for completing a degree or academic certificate in the 2021 calendar year.
- Affirm that the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted the student's life.
Students who meet these criteria may receive up to $2,500 in grant funds for tuition and fees that do not need to be paid back, and may be renewed until December, 2021.
“This award will allow returning students to finally see a return on investment of their higher education experience, to rapidly re-skill or up-skill to advance in their careers or pivot into a new field,“ said Carlos Rivers, Executive Director of the Institute for Competency-Based Education, and Co-investigator for the grant.
A&M-Commerce has partnered with Collin College, North Central Texas College, Texas Woman's University, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas for Project Complete.