Texas: State and Federal Student Aid Programs

Attending college in the state of Texas can be a costly endeavor, but it’s not something to compromise on. If you’re planning to attend college at an educational institution in Texas, these grants, scholarships, and programs can help you manage the expense.

The state of Texas has its own deadline for state aid.

TexasAfter October 1st, 2019 – Grants are made until funds are depleted. So make sure you apply ASAP after the 2020-2021 FAFSA® opens.

Bordering States Waiver

With this waiver, out-of-state students from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico can pay in-state tuition at Texas colleges and universities. The Bordering States Waiver applies only to public institutions, and GPA requirements may apply.

College Access Loans

If your federal aid isn’t adequate to help you meet the cost of tuition, the College Access Loan Program may help. These loans are available to Texas residents enrolled at least half-time in an approved educational program. Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and either pass a credit evaluation or provide a credit-worthy co-signer for the loan.

Good Neighbor Scholarship Program

Students from other nations in the Western Hemisphere who want to attend a public college in Texas may qualify for the Good Neighbor Scholarship Program. Applicants must meet academic requirements, reside in a Western Hemisphere nation other than Cuba or the United States, and intend to return to their country of residence after completing the program of study.

License Plate Insignia Scholarship

This scholarship is funded through the purchase of Texas license plates that bear the insignia of state colleges, universities, and organizations. Thus, the total sum available each year will vary depending on the number of license plates sold. The License Plate Insignia Scholarship is available to Texas residents who are enrolled in an eligible Texas college or university.

Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program

This scholarship is awarded to select students who are enrolled in the ROTC program at an eligible Texas institution. Each member of the Texas Legislature may award this scholarship to one student. The Governor and Lt. Governor may each select two students for the award. To qualify for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program, you must agree to complete four years of ROTC training, graduate in six years or less, and serve for four years with one of the Texas Guard services or as a commissioned officer in the U.S. armed services.

Texas B-On-Time Loan

New applications for this zero-interest loan are no longer accepted, but if you’re a previous recipient of the Texas B-On-Time Loan, you may qualify for a renewal. If you meet the goals set forth in your loan agreement, you can earn forgiveness, so it’s possible that you may never need to pay back these funds.

Texas College Work-Study Program

This work-study program provides part-time jobs to eligible full- or half-time students to help them meet the financial obligations of attending college. To apply, you must be a Texas resident with demonstrated financial need. The Texas College Work-Study Program also requires that you register for the Selective Service unless you’re exempt.

Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program

This grant program assists Texas residents who are enrolled in Texas public two-year colleges. To qualify, your expected family contribution must be no more than $5,233 over a nine-month period. You must register for the Selective Service unless exempt and apply for this grant within the first 30 hours of your degree program.

Texas Public Education Grant

Public colleges and universities in Texas may offer Texas Public Education Grants to students. These grants are available to both residents and non-residents. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and register for the Selective Service unless they are exempt.

Top 10% Scholarship Program

Students who are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class and plan to attend a public Texas institution of higher learning may qualify for the Top 10% Scholarship Program. Continuation awards are given priority in cases where funds are not adequate for all students who meet the qualifications for this scholarship.

Toward Excellence, Access & Success Grant Program

This grant program is designed to supplement federal financial aid for students who need assistance. The Toward Excellence, Access & Success (TEXAS) Grant Program is available for students attending qualifying public schools in Texas. To apply, simply fill out and file the FAFSA®.

Tuition Equalization Grant

This grant provides assistance to students attending private, non-profit Texas colleges and universities. To qualify for the Tuition Equalization Grant, you must show that your school requires higher tuition than Texas public institutions. Applicants must also maintain a GPA of 2.5, complete at least 24 credit hours per year, enroll in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, and register for the Selective Service unless otherwise exempt.

College Tuition and Fee Waiver for Foster and Adopted Students

Students who were formerly under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) are exempt from paying tuition and fees at state-supported colleges and universities. This exemption applies both to those who were in foster care through their 18th birthday and to select students who were adopted. If you were adopted, you can still qualify for the exemption under the following circumstances:

  • You were in DFPS conservatorship through your 14th birthday.
  • You were in DFPS conservatorship through an adoption date on or after September 1, 2009.
  • You were 14 or older by June 1, 2016, and left DFPS’s Permanent Managing Conservatorship to return to a parent.
  • You were 16 or older by June 1, 2016, and left DFPS’s Temporary Managing Conservatorship to return to a parent.

You must enroll in college before your 25th birthday to claim this exemption.

Certification of Deafness Tuition Waiver Program

Students who meet certain deafness criteria may qualify for an exemption from tuition and tuition-based fees for public schools in Texas. You must prove hearing loss that’s in line with the program’s requirements.

Children of Disabled or Deceased Public Servants Program

This program provides college tuition exemption for children and spouses of public servants, including firemen, peace officers, game wardens, and employees of correctional institutions, who were killed or became disabled in the line of duty.

There are two possible exemptions that you might qualify for. The first exemption applies to a dependent’s tuition and fees for the first 120 credit hours of an undergraduate program at a Texas public college or university. The second exemption includes tuition, fees, room and board, and a textbook allowance.

Concurrent Enrollment Waiver

If you’re enrolled at two public institutions of higher education in Texas at the same time, you may be eligible for the Concurrent Enrollment Waiver. This qualifies you for reduced tuition at the second institution.

Highest Ranking Graduate Program

The Highest Ranking Graduate Program awards the top-ranked student at each qualifying Texas high school with free tuition for the first and second semesters of his or her freshman year of college. This tuition waiver is only available for public colleges and universities in Texas, and it does not cover additional college fees.

Exemption From Out-of-District Fees

Students who live outside the district of a public community or junior college may qualify for an exemption from out-of-district fees under these conditions:

  • They own property subject to ad valorem taxation in the district.
  • They reside in a contiguous public junior college’s taxing district.
  • They reside in the district’s service area.

This exemption will allow you to pay in-district rates at the institution.

Exemption for Students With Dual College and High School Enrollment

This program may waive some or all of the college’s tuition and fees for courses that the student takes while still enrolled in high school. Applicants must be enrolled in a dual credit program at a public college or university in Texas to qualify.

Exemption Program for Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff

If your parent is contracted as a full-time member of faculty or staff with an undergraduate or graduate professional nursing program in the state of Texas, you may qualify for this exemption program. You must be a Texas resident who does not have an existing bachelor’s degree. The exemption is available if you enroll in the same institution for which your parent works.

Exemption Program for Clinical Preceptors and Their Children

If either you or your parent is serving as a clinical nurse preceptor in the state of Texas, you may qualify for this exemption. The program provides up to $500 or the sum of tuition, whichever is less. This funding is only available at public colleges and universities in Texas.

Children of POW/MIA Soldiers

The Children of POW/MIA Soldiers program offers an education benefit that covers tuition and fees. To apply, you must be the child of a soldier designated as POW or MIA who was a Texas resident.

Texas Military Department State Tuition Assistance Program

This program provides college funds to qualifying members of the Texas Military Department. Each semester, the State Tuition Assistance Program will fund between three and 12 credit hours of tuition and fees. To qualify, you must be an active drilling member of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or Texas State Guard who has completed Basic Training.

TAPS for Tuition Program

Any student in grades six through 12 who plays “Taps” on the bugle, trumpet, or cornet during a military honors funeral is eligible for a $25 voucher toward college tuition and fees, per performance. This voucher has no expiration date and may be used at any participating college or university in Texas.

Tuition Reduction Program for Students Taking More Than 15 Credit Hours

If you’re enrolled in more than 15 credit hours at a Texas public college or university, you may qualify for reduced tuition. You must be making satisfactory progress in your degree program to qualify.

Consider your qualifications carefully so you can take advantage of as many of these programs as possible to enjoy an affordable college experience at your chosen institution in Texas.