One-of-a-kind program to offer full tuition and fees for bachelor’s and graduate degrees; encourage students to live and work in the Rio Grande Valley

  Tuesday, October 12, 2021
  Announcements, Around Campus, Community

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley today announced a one-of-a-kind, merit-based scholarship program – the Luminary Scholarship – for undergraduate students.

The new scholarship program is made possible thanks to the historic $40 million gift to UTRGV this summer from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett which is meant to enhance the university’s mission of improving student success and expanding educational opportunities.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the highly competitive scholarship will allow UTRGV to retain and attract the best and brightest students in the Valley and beyond.

“We are so grateful to MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for their landmark gift to UTRGV that helped us create this unique scholarship program,” Bailey said. “This scholarship will go a long way in helping many students, their families and the Rio Grande Valley community.”

Luminary Logo
UTRGV Luminary Scholars

The scholarship program will cover the following:

  • Full tuition and fees for all four undergraduate years.
  • University housing for the first two academic years of college.
  • Full tuition and fees for up to four years for the professional or undergraduate program to which the student was provisionally admitted, including the UTRGV School of Medicine and the School of Podiatry.

In addition, the scholarship recipients, or Luminary Scholars, as they have been dubbed, will sign a pledge to work in the Valley for each year beyond their undergraduate education that is funded. That means a three-year graduate or professional program would require a three-year commitment to work in the Valley post-graduation.

UTRGV Executive Vice President and Provost Janna Arney said the Luminary Scholars program is another example of the university’s commitment to student success.

“Our ultimate goal is for students to graduate debt-free or with minimal debt from college, as well as from graduate school,” Arney said. “The only thing we ask in return of our Luminary Scholars is, just as we have made an investment in you, we ask you to make that same investment and commitment to the Rio Grande Valley.”

To learn more about the Luminary Scholarship Program, visit


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.