Texas A&M to grant free tuition, room and board to its Ukrainian students

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced on Tuesday that students from Ukraine will qualify for free tuition starting next semester. (Justin Rex For The Texas Tribune, Justin Rex For The Texas Tribune)

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Ukrainian students across the Texas A&M University System’s 11 campuses and research centers will receive free tuition starting next semester, Chancellor John Sharp said Tuesday.

The university system will cover all tuition and fees, as well as certain living expenses, for the students. At least 14 students from Ukraine have been identified as eligible for the financial support so far, Associate Vice Chancellor Tim Eaton said. The number is likely to increase as more students are identified, he said.

The move is part of the university’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, Texas A&M announced it would be cutting research ties with Russian entities and might do the same with study abroad and faculty exchange programs in Russia.

“Our students from Ukraine are in a unique, sad and difficult position as their homeland is under attack, their family members are either fleeing to safety or fighting to save their country’s sovereignty,” Sharp said in a Tuesday memo to the university system’s presidents. “In many cases, our students from Ukraine will no longer have homes to return to, and their parents remain unable to work ... or worse.”

The funds for the new initiative will come from the university system’s Regents’ Grant program, which was designed to help students who have been through a disaster, Eaton said. It was created in 2018 for victims of Hurricane Harvey with plans to give away up to $30 million over 10 years.

“I am certain you will agree that the devastation our students and their family face qualifies them for this assistance,” Sharp said.

Sharp’s memo also said the university system will open its facilities to accommodate displaced Ukrainian professors and students so they can continue their work and research in Texas.

“The Texas A&M University System will not sit by and offer any support to Russia, as Putin continues his illegal and immoral attack on Ukraine and its people,” Sharp said.

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