May 3, 2018


UT Expands Financial Aid, Inspires Hope for Similar Opportunities Across the State


AUSTIN - Earlier in the week, the President of the University of Texas at Austin announced that the university will be expanding their financial aid and making higher education more affordable and accessible to qualified students. Representative Ryan Guillen (D- Rural South Texas) is in full support of policies that allow for all students from diverse backgrounds equal access to a higher education, and supports the implementation of a similar policy at UTRGV and other institutions educating South Texans.


"Higher education is important for all Texans and we have been fighting to make it more affordable and accessible," said Guillen. "We've made progress in recent years, but more remains to be done."


The new financial aid policy is a permanent expansion of the $15 million increase that benefitted thousands of current UT students in 2016. Beginning in the 2018- 19 academic year, the Texas Advance Commitment ensures that Texas students with family incomes of up to $100,000 adjusted gross income needing financial aid will receive guaranteed gift aid. The Texas A&M system also has a similar program designed to assist middle class families who do not qualify for federal aid, and low-income students who encounter unexpected expenses and need extra funding. This program distributes about $3 million per year for the next decade.


Representative Guillen has been committed to improving the higher education system and making it more affordable to South Texans. He was the author of legislation that improved dual credit programs to make higher education more accessible for rural South Texas. Guillen also was critical to the establishment of a top tier university and medical school  in the Rio Grande Valley. This upcoming session, Rep. Guillen looks forward to continuing to improve higher education in the Valley at an affordable price.


"Allowing students the opportunity to gain a higher education without acquiring massive debt should be a priority in Texas, " said Guillen. "The University of Texas and Texas A&M are exemplary in taking the necessary steps to make higher education more accessible."


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and