Today’s Solutions: December 05, 2021

Beyond student debts, there’s a massive problem with charging university students up to $65,000 for a year’s worth of college education: by doing so, you exclude talented students from the lower end of the economic spectrum. And while the US is still a long, long distance away from matching the many countries in Europe that offer free education, there is one university that is trying to make education more viable for low-income students: The University of Texas-Austin.

Last week, UT Austin announced it is offering full-tuition scholarships to in-state undergraduates whose families make $65,000 or less per year. The endowment — which includes money from oil and gas royalties earned on state-owned land in West Texas — more than doubles an existing program offering free tuition to students whose families make less than $30,000. It also expands financial assistance to middle-class students whose families earn up to $125,000 a year, compared to the current $100,000.

For the University of Texas-Austin, this is a big statement: it shows the university is willing to look past socio-economic status and help those who truly want to further their education and career. Hopefully, this will spur more universities to follow suit.

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