Below are responses to the three most common questions that students have asked regarding the TSS program. Do not hesitate to seek additional information about the TSS program, or UTPB in general, so that you can choose the best possible college that suits your career goals. For additional information, please note the following specialized contacts.
- What does the $10k TSS program cover?
The TSS program allots $10k to cover the cost of tuition and fees (housing / meal plans not included) for the 120 SCH required for a student to earn a BS degree in one of the five identified STEM majors. Texas Science Scholars need to make progress toward graduation in four years, less for transfer students. To maintain their TSS tuition and fee award, students need to complete 30 SCH in the first year that meet the degree plan requirements, 60 SCH by the end of the second, and 90 SCH by the end of the third. The $10K-TSS tuition and fee award is granted in $2500 per year increments. It is intended to cover the cost of tuition and fees in order to remain in good standing within the TSS program. The $2500 may be used for up to 36 SCH in the academic year (fall, spring, and summer), all of which must meet degree requirements. Students who exceed 120 SCH in order to earn the degree are required to pay for the excess SCH at the regular tuition and fee rates.
- Do I have to major in one of the five designated academic programs?
The short answer is “Yes”. You must declare one of the five majors (or one of the degree tracks within the major) to be eligible for the TSS program. You may change your major at any time within the TSS program and still maintain your TSS eligibility. For instance, you could initially declare your major as Mathematics and then change it to Geology. Obviously, if you change your major to a program outside of the TSS you would no longer to receive the benefits of the TSS program.
- Do these "stack" with other "transfer" grants?
Receiving the Texas Science Scholars $10,000 tuition rate means the student may not receive UTPB designated tuition and fee-funded scholarships (“internal” scholarships). Texas Science Scholars can receive scholarships that are funded by non-designated scholarships such as the endowed scholarships and named annual scholarships (“external” scholarships).
- Does a TSS recipient have to minor in one of the 5 disciplines or Biology?
In general, the answer is “Yes”. There are a couple of exceptions: 1. Some degree plans do not include a minor, such as some chemistry tracks and the geology paleontology track and 2. The degree in InfoSys stipulates that students must minor in business, which is covered within the TSS program. For those degrees that do require a minor (Geol, Math, Cosc, Chem), the TSS student must earn a minor in one of the 5 science disciplines associated with TSS or minor in biology.
- Can I change my major after being admitted into the TSS program?
Yes, you can change your major (regardless of academic discipline) after being admitted into the TSS program. To maintain the TSS tuition/fees financial support you would have to change majors to one of the other disciplines in the TSS program. If you wish to change to a major outside of the TSS program (BS in Biology, for example), then see FAQ #6 below.
- What happens to the financial support if I change to a major not included in the TSS program?
Obviously you would no longer be afforded the $2500/year for tuition and fees that is the basis of the TSS program. However, in the majority of cases if you have received financial support from the TSS program, then you would have also been eligible to receive financial assistance from UTPB via other avenues (the Freshman Merit or the Freshman Grant, as examples). If you have maintained a good academic standing (GPA ≥ 3.00) while in the TSS program, then you would be eligible to pick up financial assistance from another UTPB source after changing majors.