What Starts Here Changes the World
In January 2020, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and The University of Texas at Austin began a historic new partnership to close the gap in college graduation rates across income levels. The two organizations teamed up to dramatically expand individualized support services for all Pell-eligible students at the university through the UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars program.
While financial support is critical, closing the graduation rate gap requires more than financial support. The new UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars effort provides all Pell-eligible undergraduate students at UT Austin with ongoing and individualized support. The program is designed to level the playing field for students from low-income backgrounds.
All Pell-Eligible Students in
UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars Receive:
Coaching and Financial
Dell Scholars at UT Austin
Additional Scholarship Dollars for Pell-Eligible Students With the Greatest Financial Need
In addition to the services provided by UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars, incoming Pell-eligible freshmen from families with the greatest need will become part of the Dell Scholars program, a proven model that serves students from across the country. Each Dell Scholar will receive a financial award of $20,000 over their time in college that can be applied to their cost of attendance, including room and board, transportation, supplies, and other expenses. For Texas residents, that funding will come on top of the university’s Texas Advance Commitment, which guarantees aid to cover the full cost of tuition and fees for Texas families earning $65,000 or less.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have many questions, and we’re here to provide answers.
- To qualify for the UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars program, you must be an incoming Pell grant eligible* student who is attending The University of Texas at Austin full time** as a first time freshman, beginning in the fall of 2020.***
- To qualify for the Dell Scholars at UT Austin program, you must be an incoming Pell grant eligible* student who is attending The University of Texas at Austin as a first time freshman, beginning in the fall of 2020***.
*as defined by Pell grant status
**enrolled in at least 12 hours at The University of Texas at Austin (students participating in the Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment [PACE] program are not eligible for UT for Me, as they only take 3 hours in residence at UT)
***including students who completed dual credit courses while in high school
UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars and Dell Scholars at UT Austin are student support programs available only to qualified incoming students at the Austin, TX campus.
All Pell-eligible students in UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars Receive:
- Personalized, multi-faceted support: Throughout their college career, students receive individualized, multi-faceted support to include academic and financial aid advising. UT for Me staff are in regular communication with our students to ensure they have the adequate guidance and information to resolve school, personal, and work-life matters.
- Financial aid coaching: Financial wellness coaching is offered to help students graduate with the least amount of debt. Students receive assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process and in navigating the verification and Financial Award Notification (FAN) acceptance process. Students can receive counseling with all aspects of student loans and debt management. Continuous financial aid advising is provided for students to better understand the direct cost versus the indirect cost of attending UT Austin and how to maximize their funds.
- Insight into UT resources: UT for Me serves as a one-stop resource center. Students can seek assistance with finding university resources and programs. The knowledgeable staff can refer and connect them to the corresponding services to fit their needs, make recommendations, and introduce them to new and established UT resources and programs. UT for Me staff will also assist students in securing tutoring sessions based on their academic need.
- Internship and career planning: UT for Me staff will work with Texas Career Engagement and the various college and school career centers to identify internship opportunities for UT for Me students. Students are supplied with the necessary guidance to be well-equipped to evaluate their options and pursue the career of their choice.
- A brand new laptop: All students receive a laptop based on the software needs of the student’s college or school and product availability. The laptop is indicated as a credit on the student’s FAN. To receive their laptop, students are required to sign the Terms and Conditions and complete the corresponding survey that will be sent electronically at the end of July. Laptops are scheduled to be distributed prior to the fall semester.
- On-track graduation planning: To ensure they reach their highest academic potential, students receive the support they need to manage any barriers they may face to stay on track toward graduation. Additionally, they are provided consistent direction and assistance with outlining a comprehensive and successful graduation plan.
- Peer advising: Student Ambassadors serve as mentors and help students build their UT Austin community. By sharing their experience from a student’s perspective, they advise students on campus life, organizations, and events. Ambassadors take the lead in establishing and expanding a virtual and social media Longhorn network for their peers.
- Textbook credits: Students are awarded a textbook credit, which can be used for both digital and hard copies of course materials. More information about the vendor and purchasing options will be provided prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
- UT for Me Resource Network: In addition to the laptop and textbook credits, students have access to the UT for Me Resource Network (UMRN), which can be accessed by the students and members of their household, including immediate family and roommates. This support is in addition to the services available at UT to address mental and physical health, financial, legal, work-life balance, and other non-academic issues.
In addition to the UT for Me support services, Dell Scholars at UT Austin also receive:
- Annual financial support of up to $5,000 annually (up to $20,000 for six years from initial enrollment) to address unmet need of total cost of attendance (this amount will be in addition to Texas Advance Commitment tuition coverage, for eligible Texas students).
- Guidance to maximize scholarship support funding
Dell Scholars at UT Austin will be notified of their Scholarship support funding beginning in March as part of their initial UT Austin financial aid notice (FAN).
- For students receiving external scholarships, financial aid packages may vary such that those students may not need/may not be eligible for the full amount of their Scholarship support each semester, based on federal financial aid guidelines.
- Dell Scholars at UT Austin will have flexible access to their Scholarship support up to the full amount over the course of their college career at UT Austin, to be managed and awarded by UT Austin in line with federal financial aid guidelines.
Annual financial support of up to $5,000 annually (up to $20,000 for six years from initial enrollment) to address unmet need of total cost of attendance (this amount will be in addition to Texas Advance Commitment tuition coverage, for eligible Texas students).
The Dell Scholars at UT Austin award amount will be in addition to Texas Advance Commitment tuition coverage, for eligible Texas students.
UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars and/or Dell Scholars at UT Austin does not support incoming transfer Pell or other students. These programs only support incoming, first-time-in-college Pell-eligible students.
Note that this transfer policy also applies to a Dell Scholar in the Dell Foundation’s traditional Dell Scholars program. If a Dell Foundation Dell Scholar begins his/her college journey at a college other than UT Austin and then transfers to UT Austin at any time in his/her college career, that student will stay in the Dell Foundation’s traditional Dell Scholar program.
Incoming UT Austin Dell Scholars already accepted into the traditional Dell Scholars program that enrolls in UT Austin will receive Scholarship support through the Dell Scholars at UT Austin program*. This support will be provided in lieu of the Dell Foundation’s traditional Dell Scholars program scholarship support, regardless of the student’s EFC or whether they qualify for Texas Advance Commitment.
Any student named a Dell Scholar prior to March 2020 (via the Dell Foundation’s traditional program) will continue to be supported through the Dell Foundation.
- Note that those students receiving Scholarship support through the UT Austin program will then be referred to as “Dell Scholars at UT Austin”.
*Acceptance letters are sent out in March of a student’s senior year of high school.
The mission of this public-private partnership is to raise six-year graduation rates for Pell-eligible students at UT Austin from 73% to 90%.
This 10 year commitment covering academic and other support will begin in the fall of the academic year 2020-2021.
Learn More About the Partnership
The partnership will build on the model of the Dell Foundation’s Dell Scholars program, which has consistently helped to deliver improved graduation rates for low-income students at above the national average. It will bring those efforts to scale at UT Austin, which has increased its overall graduation rates by nearly 20 percentage points and now guarantees financial assistance for low- and middle-income Texas students through the Texas Advance Commitment.