From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Contact: Margaret Justus, 713-236-0306

Father of College Tuition Program Responds to new education report that gives Texas low score on college affordability

Statement by Texas Senator Rodney Ellis regarding today’s report on National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

"In 1999 I authored the TEXAS Grants Program to give moderate and low income students the opportunity to go to college if they succeeded in high school. This almost $1 billion program has allowed over 138,000 students to go to college who might otherwise not have had that opportunity.

I understand the financial strain that colleges put on students and their families and that is why I have fought against tuition deregulation and for more state financial aid.

It is disheartening, but not surprising to read this new report and find that Texas ranks so low compared to other states in affordability, preparedness and completion of college.

If the State of Texas wants to have a vibrant economy in the 21st century, then we must do all we can to give our young adults every opportunity to get a college education. If we really want to close the gaps to build better lives and a better workforce, then we need to start filling the gaps today."

For more information on the report go to