EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Today UTEP welcomed over 3,600 first-year students to their campus, the now largest in history and according to students, it is all thanks to Paydirt’s Promise Plus.

This year with the expansion of Paydirt’s Promise, any Texas resident whose household income makes less than $75,000 will be able to attend UTEP without having to pay out of pocket tuition and fees.

“We’ve kept tuition fees low but 500 bucks is 500 bucks and if you can get and if you can get more scholarships available for students they think ok maybe I can do this.”- Dr. Heather Wilson, UTEP President.

This promise played a big part in some student’s decision to attend the university especially those like Elizabeth Ramos and Leilani Soto who are from the borderland and wanted to stay close to home.

“Honestly yeah I had a lot of help from financial aid which honestly helped me and really did push me to come over here.”- said Ramos
“It was a great help for me because when I was choosing where to go they were like ok we’re going to give you this money and I was like ok if I work and my family helps me I will go there and that will work for me.”-Soto

For the future of UTEP and how it is continuing to grow they are hoping that they will be able to bring in more kids to the university and Dr. Wilson is hoping to push the students into the right career path for them.

“So we want more of them to go on to community college, college or to some technical training because the jobs of the 21st century require more education and training than the jobs from my generation or my parents’ generation so convincing more students who just graduated from high school that they’ve got to do more and UTEP is here for those students” Dr. Wilson added.

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