EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP is looking to help more local students who may be struggling to pay for the lofty fees associated with higher education.

According to a news release, the PayDirt Promise program will cover tuition and mandatory fees for students whose families earn $40,000 or less per year.

“I am…pleased that, with the introduction of PayDirt Promise, UTEP is now in a position to offer more students from the Paso del Norte region affordable access to a top-tier education, comparable to that offered by prestigious colleges and universities across the U.S.,” UTEP President Diana Natalicio said.

Officials say the program is an extension UTEP Promise, the university’s existing financial aid program that covers fees for students whose families earn $30,000 or less annually.

“We know that many of our students’ families face major financial challenges,” Natalicio said. “This program will enable us to provide innovative and strategic financial support, minimize the burden of student debt and achieve UTEP’s goal of fostering social mobility.”

According to the university, the PayDirt Promise is available for undergraduate students who are Texas residents and plan to attend UTEP on a full-time basis starting in Fall 2019.

“The PayDirt Promise is a decisive step forward in our commitment to the success of students in our region,” Gary Edens, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs, said. “It is also a recognition by the University that there are many students for whom a top-tier higher education can be within reach with just a little more financial support.”

Officials say admissions and financial aid applications are still being accepted for Fall 2019.