Eighteen-year-old Marco Piña of Donna, Texas said he is excited to be the first student accepted to study at the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen. As the university continues to accept and review applications, Piña will be joined in the Fall 2017 semester by other incoming freshmen from across South Texas.
To apply, visit: https://engineering.tamu.edu/academics/engineering-at-mcallen
For questions, please contact:
Texas A&M University – Rio Grande Valley Prospective Student Center
5277 North 23rd Street
McAllen, TX 78504
Piña and his classmates soon will begin a unique educational journey that will allow them to pursue degrees from Texas A&M’s flagship in College Station without having to leave the Rio Grande Valley.
The student body president of Donna North High School, Piña intends to study general engineering and eventually focus on the aerospace industry, he said.
“To be part of a nationally ranked program is amazing,” he said. “It can’t get any better than this.”
Texas A&M University administrators and officials, including Chancellor John Sharp, saw an opportunity in McAllen to bring a world-class education to many Texans who might not otherwise have the chance to study at the largest research university in the southwestern U.S.
“Our new McAllen-based Aggies will be forging the way for future generations of South Texans who are interested in getting an education from a world-class institution while being able to stay near their families,” the chancellor said. “We are certain that many more people will follow their lead.”
Chancellor Sharp – along with several elected officials from the Valley – recognized that many high school graduates in South Texas prefer to attend college close to home due to family responsibilities and other reasons.
He encouraged students to apply even if they already have been accepted at other universities outside the Rio Grande Valley.
“The fall of 2017 marks a major milestone for Texas A&M and college-bound young people in the Valley,” Chancellor Sharp said. “The A&M System is deeply dedicated to the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas, and we look forward to continuing to grow in the region.”
The $40 Million Higher Education Center in McAllen will have more than 61,000 square feet of space to include classrooms, laboratories, an auditorium and various gathering spaces. There also will be student services and administrative support offices.
The center will open in the fall of 2018, but Piña and others in the initial class of students will study at facilities provided by South Texas College in their first two semesters. Piña and his classmates will pursue interdisciplinary engineering degrees taught by A&M professors in McAllen. The students’ non-engineering coursework will be taught by instructors from South Texas College.
Piña’s mother, Rosie Benavides said she will appreciate keeping her only child at home. Plus, she added, it will save the family a lot of money.
“I am glad A&M is moving down to the Valley,” Benavides said. “A lot of kids want to go to a great school but cannot afford to leav
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.
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