A new scholarship program will assist students at the four University of Houston System universities who are still struggling to recover from the long-term devastation of Hurricane Harvey. A $500,000 donation from the Rebuild Texas Fund via the Qatar Harvey Fund will provide scholarships of up to $5,000 per student to a minimum of 300 students at the University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria. The average scholarship is expected to be $1,667 per student.
The lasting impact of Harvey forced 279 students across the four UHS universities to fully withdraw from classes and 880 others to partially withdraw. The Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship program at the University of Houston System will help students during the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters with unmet costs of attendance such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies, and transportation expenses.
“Hurricane Harvey tested our resilience as a university system and as a city, but together we stood strong. However, like so many others in our region, some students continue to struggle,” said Renu Khator, University of Houston System chancellor. “I am extremely grateful to the Rebuild Texas Fund and Qatar Harvey Fund for supporting these students and giving them an opportunity to pursue their educational goals.”
The Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship program at UHS is the third such program created by the Qatar Harvey Fund and Rebuild Texas Fund to assist students in southeast Texas. The two funds also jointly established similar scholarships at Houston Community College and Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.
“Qatar has deep ties in Houston and southeast Texas through many years of economic and educational exchange,” said His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. “When we understood the scale of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, there was no question that Qatar would help this region’s long recovery process.”
Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding and wind devastated the city of Houston and Southeast Texas in August 2017. The broad destruction along the Gulf Coast significantly impacted all four UHS universities. Flooding inundated buildings, roads and natural wetland spaces in and around each campus.
Each of the four universities has already contacted students who may be eligible for this assistance and invited them to apply. Students will be notified of any scholarships granted beginning April 16 through June 15.
While priority will be given to students who have exhausted all other forms of aid and/or are nearing graduation, the following students are eligible for a scholarship under the program:
- Students who withdrew in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and have not re-enrolled.
- Students who have reduced their credit hours as a result of Harvey’s impact.
- Students facing financial challenges in maintaining their current enrollment due to ongoing hardship.
The Rebuild Texas Fund, a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation, was created to support the rebuilding of Texas communities hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. The State of Qatar created the Qatar Harvey Fund in 2017, pledging $30 million to support the people of Texas in the aftermath of the hurricane. Chancellor Khator is a member of the Qatar Harvey Fund’s Advisory Board.