What is Financial Aid?
Money supplied by a source other than the family to assist with the cost of attending college. Financial aid comes in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. All students should apply regardless of family income status.
New Financial Aid Requirement (Graduation Requirement) for 2022-2023
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 28.0256 beginning with students enrolled in 12th grade during the 2021-2022 school year, each student must do one of the following in order to graduate:
- Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Complete and submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA);
- Submit a signed opt-out form. (More information coming soon about this form submission.)
More information on this new requirement can be found on the Texas Education Agency website.
A student's residency status determines which financial aid application should be used.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Students can apply for federal financial aid by completing and submitting the FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education uses FAFSA information to determine a student's eligibility for need-based federal aid, including Federal Pell Grants, Federal Student Loans and Federal Work-Study. This information is then forwarded to institutions of higher education that calculate financial aid awards for each admitted student.
Federal financial aid is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain eligible non-citizens. For example, students who have a T visa or a parent with a T-1 visa are eligible to receive federal financial aid.
Students will need a FAFSA on file to qualify for most state and institutional aid, including grants and scholarships.
The FAFSA application opens for electronic submission on October 1st.
What is TASFA?
TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid)
Students who are not eligible for Federal Aid, but are residents of Texas are eligible for state aid and may submit a TASFA. Students fill out either the FAFSA or the TASFA if they are Texas residents.
To be considered a Texas resident and to qualify for state aid, students must meet theses four provisions:
- Graduate from a public or private high school, or receive a high school equivalency, in Texas.
- Reside in Texas for at least three years (36 months) leading up to high school graduation or receiving a GED.
- Reside in Texas for 12 consecutive months right before the semester the student enrolls in college.
- Provide the institution a notarized affidavit stating that the student will submit an application to become a U.S. permanent resident as soon as they are eligible to do so.
Currently, there is no electronic TASFA application. Students submitting a TASFA application will need to submit a paper application for each institution they apply to.
Financial Aid Resources