HOUSTON (KIAH) — Student success can be measured in several ways, but for many students it’s about their grades, getting a college degree and making sure that they’re financially able to pay for college necessities like food, books and housing. Now, the University of Houston-Downtown has a Student Basic Needs Program to help offset some of those costs.

On Friday, UHD will host a ribbon cutting for its Basic Needs Center to help improve student success for low-income and first-generation students. This could make for huge changes in students’ lives and generations to come.

In a release, UHD said that ‘Enhancing Student Success’ is the first goal for its 2022-2027 strategic plan. At the ribbon cutting, Commissioner for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Dr. Harrison Keller and UHD President, Loren Blanchard will discuss how THECB will support student success initiatives and UHD’s holistic approach to its commitment to student success.

In February, the university received a grant of $943,724 to use over the course of three years to fund its basic needs center.

“A recent basic needs survey told us that 39% of UHD students are having difficulty paying for the increased cost of utilities, and 36% of UHD students are having difficulty paying their rent or mortgages. With nearly one in three UHD students responsible for caring for a dependent, emergency dependent care is critical to support their success. Furthermore, UHD is a 100% commuter campus, with nearly one in five students relying on public transportation, and almost one in three students have missed at least one class session because of transportation-related issues,” UHD Interim Vice President for Student Success and Student Life, Lynette Cook-Francis said.

You can learn more about UHD’s Basic Needs Programs on UHD.edu.