RSTEF Awards UTRGV $5M Scholarship Endowment


RSTEF Awards UTRGV $5M Scholarship Endowment

(Photo Paul Chouy, UTRGV)
(Photo Paul Chouy, UTRGV)

The Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation recently announced it will establish a $5-million endowment on behalf of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The endowment will be funded annually over the next five years. UTRGV will match each annual payment to establish a total endowment of $10 million by 2026.

Funds from the endowment will enhance UTRGV’s new Graduate Select Scholarships for students in Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources, Business, Finance, Marketing, Education, Health Science, Information Technology, Manufacturing or STEM.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the endowment from RSTEF will be transformative, providing financial aid to graduate students.

“If you look across the country, there aren’t many scholarships available for students attaining their master’s or doctoral degrees, but at UTRGV we are committed to help ensure that all our students graduate with as little debt as possible,” Bailey said. “We are grateful for this monumental gift from RSTEF, which will allow UTRGV to provide unprecedented financial assistance to our graduate students. This will allow us to recruit the best and brightest graduate students from the Rio Grande Valley, the state and around the country.”

About the Graduate Select Scholarship

Earlier this semester, UTRGV unveiled its Graduate Select Scholarship. The one-time award is available for newly admitted graduate students in either traditional or accelerated online programs. The scholarship provides up to $1,000 for one academic year. Two consecutive semesters may also receive awards: up to $500 per semester, for a total of $1,000.

Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of six hours (or three hours per module) for the award semester. Applicants will be selected based on a competitive assessment of admissions information and scholarship applications. Review will be in accordance with the university’s mission. It will dentify those with intellectual, creative and leadership potential who wish to earn a master’s or doctoral degree from UTRGV.

Janna Arney, UTRGV executive vice president and provost, said UTRGV has taken significant steps to develop its graduate programs and grow its graduate school enrollment.

“Since UTRGV opened in 2015, we have made tremendous strides in expanding our graduate school offerings and enrollment,” Arney said. “Our goal is to expand education opportunities in the Valley, and this endowment will allow students to stay in the region to attain a high-quality and affordable master’s or doctoral degree.”


The RSTEF, formerly the South Texas Higher Education Authority, began in 1974 as a higher education student loan secondary market authority.

For more than 45 years, the authority served the community by helping hundreds of thousands of students and their families achieve the dream of a higher education. It provides low-cost financing by funding millions of dollars in scholarships.

In May 2019, the authority transitioned into the RSTEF with a new mission: “to ensure residents acquire skills and knowledge and have access to economic opportunities to enable them to pursue meaningful careers and live prosperous lives in Rio South Texas.”