CICC Member Spotlight


Texas by the Numbers

  • Texas is home to 81 independent colleges and universities enrolling 120,000 students.
  • In 2018-19 school year, students at all Texas higher education institutions received:
    • 593,718 Pell Grant Awards totaling $2,360,014,619
    • 97,603 received Federal Work-Study Awards and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) totaling $118,033,390
  • Two independent colleges and universities are in Rep. Veasey’s district:



Marc Veasey (D-TX)

  Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)   Marc Veasey has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2013. In the 116th Congress, he serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on Small Business. Rep. Veasey is a member of the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus?
A: I personally care about supporting our nation’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities. I earned my bachelors from Texas Wesleyan University, a small private university in Fort Worth, TX. My educational experience there was instrumental in shaping my future and instilling the values of community, inclusion, and diversity in me. Texas Wesleyan is a great example of the student-focused, academically prestigious, and affordable education that private universities provide for students. Through the CICC, I hope to continue advocating for independent colleges and the various issues they face. 

Q: What contributions are private, nonprofit colleges making in your district?
A: I am proud to have several private colleges and universities in my district. These schools significantly contribute to the cultural and economic development of our local communities by attracting businesses, building partnerships, and improving safety and the overall infrastructure of neighborhoods. Texas Wesleyan University’s Rosedale Renaissance project is a prime example of private universities’ critical role in regional development. The $6.5 million project, set to complete in 2020, is already revitalizing the Polytechnic neighborhood in southeastern Fort Worth with street improvement initiatives, and its launch of a new restaurant and community-accessible Service Center.



"Rep. Veasey’s mission as a public servant is similar to
Texas Wesleyan’s mission – both are committed to
improving lives through education and to improving the
Fort Worth community. He is a dedicated supporter of Texas
Wesleyan as our representative and a proud alumnus. He has
even been seen wearing a Texas Wesleyan Rams jersey
during the annual congressional baseball game in Washington."

– Frederick G. Slabach, J.D.
President, Texas Wesleyan University 



Q: How do you see these schools innovating?
A: Independent colleges and universities in my district are always seeking innovative ways to support students’ success. Their commitment to higher education is illustrated in the many partnerships they have with community colleges, high schools, and local businesses. Through these partnerships, they provide critical college preparation programs and scholarships for high school students, along with resources to successfully equip community college students for their transition into 4-year degree programs. At
Texas Wesleyan University, the Upward Bound (UB) and Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) programs provide crucial support to high school students preparing for college.  These schools are also making higher education more accessible to non-traditional students by providing online degrees that allow parents and working adults to complete their degrees off-campus. At Texas Wesleyan, students can earn an MBA and other graduate-level degrees completely online.



“We have a thoughtful, engaging champion on Capitol Hill in Congressman Marc Veasey, From meeting with us in
Washington to serving on the Board of Trustees of his
alma mater -- an ICUT member institution in his district --
Congressman Veasey continues to be a strong
supporter of independent higher education, and
we thank him for that.”

- Ray Martinez III 
President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc. 



Q: As a Member of Congress, how do you support the opportunity for education?
A: As a former student, I recognize the value and importance of education. I believe that education should be made accessible to all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic standing. In Congress, I’m working to keep student loan interest rates down, ensure college affordability, and support programs like Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) that make the American Dream possible for so many. I am also dedicated to supporting initiatives like Title IX and school safety programs that help cultivate safe and nurturing educational environments.

Q: How has your own experience attending an independent college impacted you?
A: As a student, I benefited from the small-sized classroom experience, scholarship opportunities, affordable tuition, and accredited degree programs provided at Texas Wesleyan University. The high academic standards and rigorous coursework I completed at Texas Wesleyan have provided limitless opportunities for me. As a member of the board of trustees, I now serve as an advocate for these values that were once instrumental to my academic and personal growth.  My experiences at Texas Wesleyan have allowed me to continue to be a voice for independent colleges and universities here in Congress.

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