Cindy Muñoz sits in an auditorium on the UT Austin campus, watching a presentation on how to enroll for classes she’ll take when she begins her freshman year next month.
Muñoz says she wants to major in political communications. Up until Tuesday, she had planned to take out $56,000 in student loans to pay for classes.
“I knew I was going to go into student debt,” she says. “I had that already in my head because my sister went to college and she had to take out loans, and she’s still dealing with loans today and she’s 38 years old.”
Then UT announced that starting in fall 2020, all in-state undergraduates coming from low- and middle-income families would receive financial aid. A student from a family making up to $65,000 will have all their tuition and fees covered, while a student whose family makes between $65,000 and $125,000 will get partial aid.