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Slow economic times are good time to pursue higher education

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Monday, December 8, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - Although the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region has been spared the degree of job losses experienced in much of the nation, last week's news that the country is officially in recession did not come as surprise to most people. But along with prices for food, gasoline and other essentials, the number of individuals enrolled in Texas public universities also rose this fall.

According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board the number of students attending public universities in Texas grew by 2.72 percent in the fall 2008 semester.

"During economic downturns many people have a renewed interest in beginning or completing their college degree to be prepared for the changing job market," said Provost Donald Bobbitt of The University of Texas at Arlington. "This is particularly true at public universities, which offer accessibility and affordability."

More than 55 percent of UT Arlington students receive some sort of financial assistance. Applications will be available in January for the Maverick Promise, which provides free tuition to Pell Grant-eligible students with household incomes of up to $65,000. The grants will begin in the fall semester of 2009. The University also offers a flat-rate, under which any courses taken in excess of 12 hours do not entail additional tuition, need-based scholarships, tuition discounts, tuition rebates and bridge loans to fill the gap until federal/state aid funds come through.

Dale Wasson, senior associate vice president for enrollment services, said there is still time to be admitted to the University for the spring semester. Classes begin Jan. 20 and it is possible to be admitted until Jan. 23.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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