The University of Houston-Downtown has been awarded a $3.2 million federal grant earmarked for first-generation Hispanic students.
The university is one of only 19 in the nation (and three in the state) to receive the U.S. Department of Education grant, administered through the the Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, according to a UHD press release. The grant supports the university's Project STAR (Student Transition and Retention).
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Lisa Montgomery, the university's vice president for Student Success and Enrollment Management (which apparently doesn't get a snappy acronym like "STAR"), said in the press release, "With these funds, we look forward to expanding the academic and personal support offerings available to our culturally diverse students." She also noted that "more than 60 percent of our students receive need-based financial aid and approximately 60 percent of our graduates are the first in their families to attend college."
The second-largest university in Houston, UHD ranks 37th nationally for graduating Hispanic and African-American students with bachelor's degrees.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in the press release that "We know that Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group pursuing higher education, but we need to improve the graduation rate for Hispanic students and provide opportunities for them to achieve their higher education goals. This grant program will help more Latino students have access to quality higher education, which is key to building a highly skilled workforce to compete in a global marketplace."
Congrats to UHD for the grant, and we certainly hope folks in Houston will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.