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Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $13.9m for UTRGV at Press Conference

On Friday, May 26, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) held a press conference with officials from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) at the Mission CEED Building, to announce that UTRGV will receive more than $2.7 million this year, and possibly more than $13.9 million over the next five years, to help high school students prepare for college.

The funds come from Upward Bound grants from the U.S. Department of Education, as part of the TRIO Program. Congressman Cuellar helped increase the funding for the TRIO Program in the Appropriations Committee to $950 million for the 2017 fiscal year – an increase of $50 million from the fiscal year 2016 budget.

Upward Bound grants are designed to help high school students prepare for, gain acceptance to, and afford higher education. They provide weekend tutoring and work on improving high school grade point averages, increasing their test scores, helping with financial aid and scholarship forms, and assisting with the college application process.

“Education changes lives, and every child in my district deserves the opportunity to strive for college,” explained Congressman Cuellar. “I fought for these funds to give the students in my district at Rio Grande City High School and Mission High School, as well as students throughout South Texas, the resources they need to attend a great institution like UTRGV. I will work in the Appropriations Committee to ensure this funding continues for the full five years, so more students can take advantage of this program.”

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said, “As a first-generation college student, I know how important it is to receive instruction and motivation early in life to prepare a student for success.  That’s why I am so grateful to all involved in securing these Upward Bound grants that will help UTRGV provide these services to disadvantaged and at-risk students throughout the entire Rio Grande Valley.”

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) will receive $2,795,904.00 in the first year, beginning September 2017. The program is anticipated to continue for five years, meaning UTRGV will receive a total of $13,979,520.00

Of the first year funds, $257,500 is reserved for students from Rio Grande City High School, $257,500.00 will serve La Grulla High School, and $627,548 is for students from Mission High School and two other local schools.