January 31, 2020
Dear UT Community,
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is one of the foremost philanthropic organizations in the world. They also happen to be our neighbors here in Austin. Susan and Michael Dell have contributed so much to the community and to The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Michael Dell gave an inspirational commencement address to the Class of 2019.
Now, we’re going even further — together.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce a new partnership between the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and UT that will reinforce our commitment to students and families by providing personally tailored support services to thousands of low-income students, along with life-changing scholarships for those with the most financial need.
Our partnership will be modeled on the Dell Foundation’s highly successful Dell Scholars program, which has served 5,000 low-income students at over 800 universities nationwide and helped them achieve graduation rates that are four times the national average. It will bring those efforts to scale and build on the historic Texas Advance Commitment, which was expanded by the UT System Board of Regents last summer to provide assured financial aid for middle- and low-income Texas students at UT.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has pledged an extraordinary $100 million over the next 10 years to create a personalized support system for UT students who receive Pell Grants that will include advising, mentorship, financial aid counseling, and customized tutoring, along with other support like a laptop and textbooks.
In fall 2020, all incoming freshmen at UT who receive Pell Grants will benefit from these personalized support services. As the program ramps up, after four years, an estimated 8,000 UT students per year will be served — about 20 percent of the undergraduate student body.
In addition, the Dell Foundation commitment will allow us to provide $20,000 Dell Scholars scholarships for qualified Pell Grant students with the highest level of financial need.
This is an exciting day for our university, and I am tremendously grateful for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s visionary investment in the success of all UT students.
Gregory L. Fenves