Texas Scholarships and Grants
Many parents and students find preparing for college to be an intimidating and often confusing process. After successfully navigating through applications, test scores, GPA’s and class rank; the final hurdle for many students is deciding how to pay for their education.
With the estimated yearly cost of a Texas four-year public university hovering near $20,000 many will turn to financial aid programs to help them achieve their education goals.
The state of Texas funds numerous scholarship and grant programs to help meet the financial needs of students and to encourage them to pursue a college education. Scholarships and grants provide funds to cover a wide variety of education costs. Funds received through scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back and thus significantly reduce the total cost of a student’s college education.
To begin the financial aid process students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact their college’s financial aid office. Students should also speak to their high school counselor for information regarding scholarships offered by corporations, private foundations, and other local organizations.
Those seeking financial aid will find a variety of available scholarships and grants based on financial need, academic achievement and program of study.
Need Based Scholarships and Grants
License Plate Insignia Scholarship (LPI) - This scholarship is funded by the purchase of Texas collegiate license plates and through the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation. The amount available for scholarships varies by school and is determined by the number of license plates purchased with each individual school’s logo.
Scholarships provide assistance with tuition and fees for Texas residents, enrolled at least half-time in a Texas college or university, and who demonstrate a need for financial assistance. To apply for the LPI Scholarship fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact the school’s financial aid office.
Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG) – This grant provides financial assistance to students enrolled in a Texas two-year college. To qualify for this grant the student must be a Texas resident and demonstrate financial need. The grant also requires the student to be enrolled at least half-time in an associate’s degree or certification program at a Texas public two-year college.
The student cannot have previously earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or have been convicted of a felony or crime involving controlled substances. The student may continue to receive the grant for up to 75 semester hours, four years, or until receipt of an associate’s degree. The grant award is equal to the amount required for tuition and related fees at the student’s college. To apply for this grant the student should complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and contact their school’s financial aid office.
Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) – This grant provides assistance for students demonstrating financial need. The grant is open to residents, non-residents, and foreign students attending a Texas public college or university. The grant amount varies at each school and is dependent upon available funds; however, the award may not be more than the student’s financial need.
Each school also determines their own priorities for awarding grants to full or part-time students, as well as undergraduate or graduate students. For additional information and to apply for the grant, fill out the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and
Towards EXcellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program- This grant program provides financial assistance and encourages well-qualified high school students to attend college in the state of Texas. To qualify for this grant the student must be a Texas resident, demonstrate financial need, and cannot have been convicted of a felony or crime involving controlled substances.
The student must also have graduated high school after the 1998-1999 school year and subsequently enrolled in a Texas public college or university within 16 months of graduation. The student should not have earned more than 30 hours of college credit, excluding credit earned through dual or concurrent enrollment or by examination. The grant is also available to students who earned an associate’s degree from a Texas public two-year college and subsequently enrolled in a Texas public university within 12 months of receiving an associate’s degree.
The grant covers tuition and fees and may be renewed for a total of six years depending on the recipient’s degree program. To apply for the TEXAS grant fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact the school’s financial aid office for additional eligibility requirements.
Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care- This program provides financial assistance to students with high school diplomas between the ages of 16-21, who have been in foster care through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. To qualify for the vouchers the student must currently be in foster care and likely to remain in care until the age of 18, or aged out of foster car but not yet turned 21, or adopted out of foster care after the age of 16.
The student must be attending a four-year university or a two-year college program leading to an associate’s degree. The student may remain in the program until aged 23 as long as progress is being made towards degree completion. The vouchers cover up to $5,000 per year of education related costs including, tuition, fees, and board. To apply for this program contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (512-438-3312).
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program- This program provides financial assistance to undergraduate students desiring to attend college in the state of Texas. To qualify for the program the student must be a Texas resident and demonstrate financial need. The applicant must not be in default of or owed a refund from a federal student loan.
The program covers up to $5,000 in education expenses and funds may be used at either public or private universities in Texas. To apply for this program fill out the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and contact the school’s financial aid office.
Merit Based Scholarships and Grants
Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program (EHS) – The EHS award is designed to provide funds for the payment of tuition and fees for students completing high school early and/or with a considerable amount of college credit. The scholarship is available to students attending a Texas public high school for the majority of their 9th-12th grade school years and who intend to enroll in a public or private university in the state of Texas. Students graduating after 6/15/2007 can earn a $2,000 award for completing high school in 36 months or less.
An additional $1,000 is available for students graduating in less than 36 months and who earn at least 15 semester hours of college credit by graduation. Students graduating in more than 36 months but no more than 41 months can earn a $500 scholarship and an additional award of $1,500 for obtaining 30 semester hours of college credit by graduation.
For students graduating in more than 41 months but less than 45 months and who obtain 30 semester hours of college credit, a $1,000 award is available. To apply for this program download an application at collegefortexans.com, and have a high school counselor submit all certification forms to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Robert C. Byrd Scholarship (BYRD) - The Robert C. Byrd Scholarship is a merit based scholarship for academically distinguished high school students in the state of Texas. To qualify for the award the student must be in the top 10% of their graduating class and nominated by their counselor, home school teacher, or GED director as the “most academically eligible”. The student must also be a Texas resident, and a US citizen, or national or permanent resident of the United States. The scholarship provides a maximum award of $1,500 for up to four years. The award may be used at any eligible public or private school in the nation. Contact the Grants and Special Programs Office (800-242-3062) or high school counselor for additional information.
Top 10% Scholarship Program- This program provides financial assistance and encourages students graduating in the top 10% of their high school class to attend a Texas public college or university. To qualify for this award the student must graduate from an accredited Texas high school as well as demonstrate financial need.
An award of up to $2,000 may be granted for full time enrollment in a Texas public college or university. To apply for this award the student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The student will receive notification of the award amount from the school they enrolled in.
Tuition Equalization Grant- This grant provides financial assistance to resident or non-resident National Merit Finalists attending a private Texas university or college. To qualify for the grant the student must be a National Merit Finalist, demonstrate financial need, be enrolled at a private university in the state of Texas, and not be a recipient of an athletic scholarship.
The student is required to show that they will pay more in tuition at the private university than they would pay if they had enrolled at a public university. In order to maintain eligibility the student must be enrolled ¾-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and complete at least 24 credit hours per year. The award amount is a maximum of $3, 808 per year, but students demonstrating “exceptional need” may qualify for up to $5,712 per year. To apply for this grant the student should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact the school’s financial aid office for eligibility determination.
Program of Study Based Scholarships and Grants
Nursing Scholarships- Scholarships are available to assist and encourage students to pursue nursing careers. Texas residents enrolled in a professional nursing program at a Texas (public or private) college or university may apply for the scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate financial need.
The Professional Nursing Scholarship awards a maximum of $2,500 to students enrolled in coursework leading to a license as a professional nurse. The Vocational Nursing Scholarship awards a maximum of $1,500 to students enrolled in coursework that leads to a license as a vocational nurse. Contact the school’s financial aid office for an application and additional scholarship information.
Engineering Scholarship Program- The Engineering Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students seeking an engineering degree at any public or private four-year university in the state of Texas. To qualify for the award the student must be a sophomore level student enrolled in an engineering degree program at a participating Texas institution.
The student must also have graduated in the top 20% of their high school class and earned a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in all math and science courses. Students are also required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 out of a 4.0 at their current school. The scholarship award amount varies and is determined individually by each participating school. For more information contact your university’s Engineering Department.
Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship Program- This scholarship program is designed to promote and increase the number of trained accounting professionals in the state of Texas. To qualify for this award the student must be a resident of Texas and enrolled at a participating public or private university in the state of Texas.
The applicant must complete 120 hours of college credit hours, including a minimum of 15 hours in accounting courses. The student must also plan to take the CPA exam administered by the Texas State Board of Public Accountants. The scholarship provides a maximum award of $5,000 and is available to students demonstrating financial need. To obtain an application, contact the university’s accounting department or financial aid office.
Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship Program-This program provides $2,000 in financial support to students enrolled in a graduate program in public affairs, public service, or public administration. To qualify for this award the student must be a Texas resident enrolled in a participating public or private university in Texas. The applicant must also plan to work in the state of Texas upon graduation and demonstrate financial need. The deans from eligible schools submit the program applications to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. For more information contact the Grants and Special Programs Office (800-242-3062).
Other Sources of Financial Aid
In addition to grants and scholarships funded by the state of Texas, many other organizations and agencies offer scholarships, grants, and programs to help students pay for their education. Students should contact the financial aid office at their college or university, or their high school counselor for information about specific program details and additional financial aid opportunities.
Federal Grants- The federal government provides a variety of scholarships and grants to students in need of financial assistance including, the Federal Pell Grant, SMART Grant, and TEACH Grant.
Federal and State Loans and Loan Forgiveness Programs- Both the federal government and the state of Texas provide loan programs to students and parents to help pay the costs of higher education. Traditional loans with favorable rates and repayment schedules are available at both the state and federal level.
Students entering certain degree programs and/or earn a degree while maintaining specified academic standards may qualify for loan forgiveness programs. Students entering loan forgiveness programs must meet specific program guidelines to qualify for loan forgiveness. Many programs require students to work in rural, disadvantaged, or high need areas upon graduation. Loan forgiveness programs are offered in high demand fields such as, teaching, math, science, and medicine.
Private, Local, and Corporate Scholarships- Corporations, local organizations, and private foundations provide a wide variety of scholarships and grants available to Texas students. Many require enrollment and demonstrated achievement in specific degree programs. Students should contact their high school counselor or college financial aid office for application assistance and additional information.
University Scholarships- Universities and colleges offer a variety of scholarships unique to their school and degree programs. Many schools offer athletic and fine arts scholarships as well as scholarships based on academic achievement in certain fields of study. Students should contact their school of interest or high school counselor for additional scholarship information.