HPU student delegates meet with state legislators

hpu_teg_day_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – Six students from Howard Payne University visited Austin recently for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Student Advocacy Day. Groups from several private universities in the West Texas region, including HPU, traveled to the capitol building to encourage representatives and senators to continue support for the TEG program.

The HPU students met with legislators and staff from their home districts to thank them for appropriating funds for the program, which assists with tuition to private colleges and universities. They also took a guided tour of the capitol building and observed a Senate session. During the visit, university delegates learned the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (education) added $ 15 million to the TEG program for the 2014-2015 biennium.

“The TEG program has greatly benefitted Howard Payne students over its 44-year history,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “The TEG makes college a financial reality for many of our students coming from all over the state of Texas. We made the trip to Austin to say ‘thank you’ to the representatives and senators for their support and to encourage their continued support in the future.”

HPU student delegates included Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson; Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Colton McCabe, a sophomore from Gatesville; Courtney Officer, a sophomore from Stephenville; Erik Swenson, a junior from Carrollton; and Brogan Turner, a freshman from Brownwood. The students were accompanied by Kevin Kirk and Yvonne Lundy, executive assistant to the associate vice president for enrollment management.

“The Tuition Equalization Grant has helped to further not only my intellectual education, but my spiritual education,” said Colton McCabe. “It was a privilege to thank my representative and senator in person for their support of this program.”

Approximately 275 Howard Payne University students received funding through the TEG for the spring 2013 semester.

More than four decades ago, the TEG was created by Dr. Gary R. Price, a 1960 graduate of HPU. Wishing private colleges and universities were more affordable to students in Texas, he developed the concept, wrote the legislation and worked to gain support for it. Sponsored by the late Dr. Lynn Nabers, a fellow HPU alumnus who was then a state representative, the legislation was passed in 1971. Since its inception, the program has assisted needy students to bridge the gap between tuition rates at state and independent institutions.

To be eligible for a TEG, a student must be a qualified Texas resident; establish financial need as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; be enrolled fulltime in an approved independent college or university in Texas; not receive any form of athletic scholarship; and maintain a 2.5 GPA by the end of the sophomore year.

Additional private universities from the West Texas Region of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas participating in the trip included Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, Lubbock Christian University and McMurry University.

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Photo cutline: HPU delegates give the university “sting ’em” salute in front of the capitol building in Austin. From left are Courtney Officer, Allen Andrus, Brogan Turner, Erik Swenson, Kathryn Barrackman and Colton McCabe.