Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

UA aid program for needy students gets $2M grant

Cronkite News Service


Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – A $2 million grant announced Thursday will help the University of Arizona fulfill its promise to help high-performing graduates from lower-income families graduate on time and free of debt, the school’s president said.

The Helios Education Foundation, a nonprofit based in Arizona and Florida, pledged the money to the Arizona Assurance scholarship program, which last fall provided nearly 600 UA freshmen with free tuition, books and living expenses.

“This is one more statement that the program is real, and whatever your age, if you are a 10th-grader or a 10-year-old, you should prepare for college because it is available to you,” UA President Robert Shelton said.

The scholarship combines federal Pell Grants and private funding. Recipients must be Arizona residents, eligible for Pell Grants and from families with incomes of less than $42,400 per year.

Arizona Assurance participants earn part of the scholarships by working 10 to 12 hours per week in on-campus jobs. They are required to take part in programs aimed at retaining students.

Vince Roig, chairman of the Helios Education Foundation, said the investment is especially important as the U.S. is mired in recession.

“When you talk about where you can make the best investment in the economy, you have to really start at the grass roots, and that’s providing postsecondary education for people,” he said.

Though not part of the eligibility requirements, the scholarship is targeted at those who could become the first in their families to attend a four-year college.

“There is no ability to dream when no one else has gone before you, so it is that much harder to get excited about going to college,” Roig said.

Shelton, the first in his family to attend college, said he hopes the scholarship will not only make attending college possible but expected for future generations.

“This is going to transform this generation when they start to have children,” he said. “It’ll just be the norm in their families that you’re going to go to college.”

Shelton and Roig announced the grant before a group of students at Camelback High School, joined by Elisa Meza, a UA freshman who is benefitting from Arizona Assurance.

Meza said she probably wouldn’t have been able to attend college without the scholarship.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service