By Joanna Carver/Public Affairs Specialist
Paying for college can be rough. Everyone makes sacrifices, but now students in the College of Engineering have another option for support. The UTSA Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Retention and Success (SPURS), which will provide mentoring and assistance to financially disadvantaged students, will start accepting applications in the fall.
“Several of our academically talented students are financially disadvantaged,” said Civil Engineering Department Chair Heather Shipley, who helped create the program along with College of Engineering faculty members Ruyan Guo, Rena Bizios, and Krystel Castillo. “This gives us an opportunity to give them almost full scholarships to cover their tuition for a year and give them tools that will make them successful in their careers or graduate school.”
The program was the result of an effort across all departments in the College of Engineering to reach out to students under financial strain, who will soon have the opportunity to benefit from mentoring, professional development and exposure to research in addition to help with covering tuition costs.
SPURS is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, which awarded the College of Engineering $626,890 beginning August 1st through July 2020.
“It’ll get students excited about other opportunities and activities they can have besides just going to classes and making ends meet,” Shipley said.
The objective, she said, is to attract students, retain them and help students graduate on time and jump start their careers.
“The SPURS program will provide these students not only financial assistance but also skills that will help succeed in their careers,” she said.
The first set of about 12 scholarships will go out to junior and senior-level students in the spring, for a fall start date. Those students will have top-tier research and internship opportunities as well as critical thinking and professional development workshops that will give them a boost in starting their careers in the industry or pursuing graduate school.