More than 500 students attending five Texas A&M System campuses withdrew from school and did not return after Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast in 2017.
Now a $1 million grant from the State of Qatar via the Qatar Harvey Fund will help to support those students affected by Harvey.
This grant will give deserving students a second chance at their college dreams.
This money will help rebuild the future for hundreds of deserving students whose dreams of obtaining a degree was put on hold thanks to Hurricane Harvey.
“We are coming up on the anniversary pretty quickly in 2 years. You are always hearing stories about situations where students and their families are still struggling. This is the perfect time to help them come back into the system if they are out or make sure they can finish and continue if they are still struggling,” said Vice President of Student Engagement and Success Don Albrecht.
This $200,000 scholarship fund will help cover tuition, fees, books, living and emergency expenses at the five colleges within the system, including Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“We are still trying to get all the details on the process, but we have already captured information on 327 students who have indicated they have some need and were impacted by Harvey,” said Albrecht.
“This fund that is going out, is a lot bigger so it will be able to help more students and help me to finish college,” said senior Tania Cruz.
Many students withdrew, and even those who did return to their studies, like Tania Cruz, have continued to struggle with personal and financial challenges.
“Our house, we had a lot of trees, and the trees pulled up the foundation of the house. The house had a lot of damage, had a lot of holes, and all the water came in, and we pretty much lost everything inside the house,” said Cruz.
Tania, who is a health science major, and her parents pay for her school out of pocket. Though she returned to school as soon as she could, Tania felt guilty because her parents were still struggling to get back on their feet.
“I just felt like that money for tuition could have been used for something else. It made me feel really grateful that I have parents that always support me and everything that I do,” said Cruz.
The students who are eligible for assistance include those who are registered and currently attending the school, and those who had to withdraw in the aftermath of the storm.
Since the storm, Tania’s parents were able to purchase another home in Rockport, and Tania has moved to an apartment complex in Corpus Christi to be closer to school. She goes back to Rockport on the weekends to be close to her parents and to work at the Rockport restaurant that was once damaged by the storm. Her future career goals are to become a nurse manager and then to work in epidemiology.
She received a smaller Harvey grant directly from TAMU-CC in 2017/2018 and used that for books and the campus parking pass. If she gets this new grant, she’ll be able to pay tuition plus buy books.
To be eligible for assistance, a student must be:
- Either a current student impacted by Hurricane Harvey and enrolled in one of the five included A&M System universities;
- Or, be a student who withdrew from one of these universities as a result of Hurricane Harvey and has not yet re-enrolled;
- Or, be a student who was admitted to one of these universities beginning in the Fall of 2017 but did not attend because of Harvey. Students must also have had a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate and doctoral students, if currently enrolled.
The applicant must also be able to demonstrate, with data or anecdotally, the effect of Harvey on their financial situation. The grant money would be available for the Fall 2019 semester.
The TAMU-CC Division of Student Engagement and Success has created a website with details of the grant, eligibility requirements, and a student request form at harveyhelp.tamucc.edu
Registration is now open for students who think they may qualify. CLICK HERE to register.
For more information, contact the Student Engagement and Success Student Assistance Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org