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Committee on Financial Aid to Students

Members 2003-2004:

Lawrence D. Abraham, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Glenn Y. Masada, Martin Poenie, Elizabeth C. Pomeroy

Faculty Council Appointees:  Neville Hoad, Charles R. Rossman


Tatiana L. Canales, Christine D. Hines, Tracie A. Jones, Robert L. Martinez, Bradley F. Wallace

Administrative Advisors:  Lawrence W. Burt, John D. Dollard, Susan Alvarado-Boyd

Committee Function
The official function of the committee is to initiate and review policies and procedures regarding financial aid matters and to hear student appeals regarding decisions of the Office of Student Financial Services.

Associate Vice President Lawrence Burt provided to the committee an assessment of the state of financial aid at UT Austin. The largest amount of financial aid money that flows through the UT Office of Student Financial Services is in the form of loans. With regard to scholarships, UT is second after Harvard in National Merit Scholarships and first in National Hispanic Scholarships. Scholarships from foundations like the Terry, Gates, Ford, etc. are also substantial. In addition, UT offers an impressive amount of aid for non-academic performance in the areas of music, athletics, and community service. There were also a number of scholarships devoted to increasing diversity at the University. The President's Achievement Scholarship (PAS) is a multi-level, multi-year scholarship based on an adversity index, the Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship (LOS) is a broad-spectrum scholarship and support program for students from high schools that are under-represented at UT Austin, and the First Generation Scholarship is awarded to first generation students from HB400 high schools.

Financial Aid Survey of Undergraduate Students
The continued increase in the cost of higher education will probably trigger an increase in the number of students serviced by the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS). The OSFS has done an excellent job in improving the process that students and families use to receive financial aid assistance. However, the committee chair, at the behest of the committee and in an effort to seek continuous improvement in services, appointed a sub-committee led by Professor Lawrence Abraham to develop a Web-based survey to explore how students view the services offered by the financial aid office. This effort may suggest improvements in the various aspects of the service provided. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2004. Funding to conduct the survey was provided by the Office of Student Financial Services.

Financial Aid Survey of Graduate Students
Committee member Roger Martinez conducted an informal survey of graduate students. He found that there is a wide diversity between departments in what financial aid they provide their students. Lawrence Burt noted that the financial aid office helps relatively few graduate students and has only the federal loan programs and a pittance of the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) money to disperse to graduate students. The office can help only about 2,500 out of 11,000 graduate students.

Ron Brown Scholarships
The children of UT Austin faculty and staff were encouraged to apply for the Ronald M. and Marilou D. Brown Endowed Scholarship, named in honor of the former vice president for student affairs and his wife. The scholarship is awarded only to full-time undergraduate students (including incoming freshmen and transfer students) who are the offspring of regular, retired, or deceased UT Austin faculty or staff.

The committee is in the process of evaluating the recipients of this distinguished scholarship. The recipients will be announced prior to July 1, 2004.

Elizabeth C. Pomeroy, chair