The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has recently implemented a new rebate program where summer class enrollees will receive rebates amounting to a couple hundred dollars when the fall semester comes rolling around the corner.
The rebates start at $104 for students taking more than six credit hours during the summer term. This amount will increase depending on the additional number of credit hours taken; further incentivizing students to take full advantage of the rebate to cram in as much credits as they can during the summer.
This is especially useful for those that have been cut out of state and federal assistance programs.
The Texas Grant and Pell Grant are state and federal need-based grants aimed to help low-income families finish a college degree, but both have seen severe cuts in recent months. The Texas Grant received a whopping $14 million cut last year, while Pell Grants got a $5 million cut this summer.
The problem with the rebate program, however, is that students first have to enroll in classes and that they have to be relatively free during the summer.
Some students already have too much on their plate to get seven credit hours or more during the summer. They either need to work during this time or they already have other commitments like internships or studying for various tests and exams.
And then there’s the issue of actually having to pay for the summer classes. Take for example Christian Juarez who majors in media advertising. He points out that it would be great to get some money back, but that the cost of enrolling for the classes in the first place would “sting” if you are unemployed.
Still, the rebate program does hope to help fill in part of the void left by financial aid cuts. “The university wants to help students defer costs and help them realize the savings and time, as well as the increase in course offerings that have been made,” says associate provost for enrollment services Craig Westman.