How to Pay for Texas A&M University: Financial Aid and Student Loan Options

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

How to pay for Texas A&M University
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Hoping to become an Aggie? Anyone looking to attend Texas A&M University, at its main College Station campus, should have a solid idea of what they can expect to pay. The estimated in-state cost of attendance for the 2018-19 academic year is $27,888 — an approximation that includes tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, supplies, travel, and personal expenses.

Coming up with the money you need to accomplish your higher education goals can be challenging, especially if you started saving late in the game. However, you can figure out how to pay for Texas A&M University with the help of financial aid.

There are a number of funding options, including grants and scholarships, that don’t need to be paid back. Additionally, you can use federal and private loans to bridge college funding gaps you might have.

Let’s review the different sources of student aid you might be eligible for if you attend Texas A&M University.

Costs of attending Texas A&M University
Annual in-state tuition and fees $10,252
Annual room and board $10,436
Total cost $27,888
Net cost (after aid) $13,426
Average debt after graduation $24,072
All info current as of 8/23/2018
Sources:
Texas A&M University
College Scorecard
TICAS.org

The FAFSA: Unlocking financing options

Whether you’re learning how to pay for Texas A&M University or you end up going to another school, you need to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This application is used by schools to determine what types of federal aid packages you qualify for. Not only do you need to fill out the FAFSA to access to federal student loans and grants, but some schools also require it if you want access to institutional scholarships. Realize, though, that the FAFSA needs to be filled out each year.

In addition, if you want access to state-level financial aid in Texas and you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to fill out the TASFA. This is a Texas-specific form used for non-citizen Texas residents when determining access to state-level financial aid at Texas A&M University.

Grants for Texas A&M University students

A grant is money that doesn’t have to be repaid. In many cases, a grant is awarded based on financial need.

In order to qualify for federal and state education grants, you’ll need to fill out your FAFSA. Grants from private organizations or individual schools might also have additional requirements. In many cases, your application must demonstrate financial need, and you might need to provide additional documentation that you meet other requirements.

Some of the grants you might be eligible for include:

  • Federal Pell Grants: If you’re an undergrad and demonstrate financial need, you might be eligible for up to $6,095 for the 2018-19 school year.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: Receive up to $4,000 a year based on financial need.
  • TEACH Grant: This grant is aimed at undergrads who plan to teach high-need subjects at schools that serve low-income students.
  • Texas Public Education Grant: Demonstrate financial need, based on your student aid applications. However, funding is limited, so you might not receive the grant, even if you qualify.
  • TEXAS Grant: This is another need-based grant program in Texas. However, there are specific requirements related to high school graduation or the way you transfer, in order to qualify.

You can also check with the state of Texas, the federal Department of Education, and the school’s financial aid site for more information on specific grant programs that you could use to fund your education at Texas A&M University.

Scholarships for Texas A&M University students

Like grants, scholarships don’t have to be repaid. However, unlike grants, some scholarships aren’t based on financial need. Instead, there are merit-based scholarships that focus on your adherence to certain qualifications like good grades, participation in extracurricular activities, or membership in an organization.

Need-based scholarships exist as well, and are awarded similarly to grants, taking into account your family’s financial situation and other circumstances that might put you at a disadvantage.

If you’re looking for a scholarship at Texas A&M University, here are a few programs to consider:

  • Century Scholarship: If you’re a graduate of a Century Scholar school, you may be eligible for $5,000 per year for four years — as long as you maintain an overall GPA of 2.75.
  • Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholarship: For high academic achievers, this scholarship offers a chance to have costs covered at Texas A&M. However, you’ll need to be a National Merit Semifinalist, have a high SAT or ACT score, and plan to follow a STEM or business path.
  • Greater Texas Foundation Aggie Scholars Program: If you’re a graduate of an early college high school program in Texas, you may be eligible to receive a three-year award.
  • Phillip 66 SHIELD Scholars: If you’re pursuing a degree in areas related to the energy industry and you’ve already completed at least 60 semester credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.25, you might be eligible for $3,500 per year for your remaining time in college.
  • Regents’ Scholars Program: For first-generation college students attending Texas A&M University, you could be in the running for up to $5,000 per year.

Review Texas A&M’s scholarship page for more details about these and other scholarship awards.

There are also various scholarship programs available through various organizations in Texas, as well as national scholarship competitions. Scholarships for diverse populations, including LGBTQ, African-American, and Latino students, are also available.

Websites like FastWeb and Scholly can help you identify and apply for scholarships to go toward the cost of attending Texas A&M University.

Federal work-study

The federal work-study program provides funds that can be used to encourage student employment. Federal money set aside though the program pays a portion of your wages so employers can afford to hire more students.

In addition to federal work-study, the state of Texas has a work-study program that you might qualify for. You’ll need to fill out a FAFSA to apply for all possible work-study funds. If you qualify for work-study programs, it will be listed in the financial aid letter you recieve from the school.

Texas A&M offers work-study jobs through its student career portal. In order to show your qualification, you can print off your certificate through the university’s financial aid website. Most work-study students work between 10 and 20 hours a week.

Federal student loans

Even with other forms of financial aid, many college students still need help closing the college funding gap. In fact, in Texas, more than half of grads carry student loan debt, with the average amount sitting at $26,292 for those attending a public four-year institution.

Federal student loans come with a number of perks, including:

  • Income-driven repayment: If you have a low income after graduation, you might qualify for a repayment plan based on your earnings, allowing you to make manageable payments without falling behind.
  • Deferment and forbearance: With federal student loans, you might qualify for deferment and forbearance if you run into economic hardship.
  • Fixed interest rates: Federal loan interest rates are set each year, and remain fixed for the term of the loan.
  • No credit check: For most federal loans, you don’t have to go through a credit check to qualify.
  • Potential for federal loan forgiveness: Programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and forgiveness while on income-driven repayment, as well as access to state-level forgiveness programs, can provide a way to get some of your debt discharged.

There are three main types of federal student loans available to undergraduate students and their parents. You can use this handy chart to see what’s available, and what you can expect.

Types of undergraduate federal student loans
Interest covered during deferment? Interest rate Origination fee Credit check?
Direct Subsidized Loans Yes 5.05% 1.066% No
Direct Unsubsidized Loans No 5.05% 1.066% No
Parent PLUS Loans No 7.6% 4.264% Yes
All info current as of 8/23/2018
Source: U.S. Department of Education

Subsidized student loans are available to students who demonstrate financial need. With subsidized loans, the government pays your interest for you while you’re in school and for the six months following your graduation. Unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest the moment they are disbursed. One way to reduce your total cost is to pay the interest on unsubsidized loans while you’re in school.

It’s also possible for your parents to help you pay for school by getting a Parent PLUS loan. Instead of you borrowing money, your parent actually borrows the money in their name and uses it on your behalf. These loans come with higher interest and other costs than loans taken out by students.

Texas A&M University student loans

If you still need help getting funding for your education, it’s possible to apply for student loans from the university itself.

Texas A&M offers emergency loans to students whose federal aid has been delayed or whose paychecks might not come in time. It’s possible to borrow up to the amount of tuition and fees for 90 days.

You can also get short-term Texas A&M University loans to pay for any school-related expenses. However, these loans have terms of between one and 12 months, so it’s important to be prepared to repay your debt as quickly as you can. Contact the Student Business Services office for more information about either of these loans.

The State of Texas also offers its own loans for in-state students attending college in Texas, including at Texas A&M University.

Private student loans

Once you’ve exhausted your other options when paying for Texas A&M University, consider applying for private student loans. You can find them at banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

Private student loans don’t come with as many borrower protections as federal loans, however. Some private lenders might offer perks, such as hardship programs or lower interest rates for well-qualified borrowers, but you should specifically look for those programs when researching your options.

On top of that, you need to meet the lender’s credit requirements if you want to get a private student loan; if you don’t meet the criteria, you can find a cosigner to help you qualify. It’s also possible for parents to get private student loans to help you pay for school.

Before choosing a lender, compare the best private student loans to see which lenders offer the best terms for your financial situation. In many cases, though, it’s important to max out your federal student aid before you turn to private loans to fund your education at Texas A&M University.

The bottom line: Paying for Texas A&M University

There are a number of options to turn to when figuring out how to pay for a Texas A&M education. In fact, it’s often beneficial to combine different strategies to successfully afford your higher education.

Planning ahead and saving up by using a 529 or another type of account can help you reduce the outside help you need to pay for school. However, for many people, federal and state aid are needed to create a college funding solution — fill out the FAFSA and see what your options are.

When looking for money to pay for college, it’s best to start with scholarships and grants, which don’t have to be paid back. Next, see if state and federal student loans and work-study programs can close the gap. Once everything else has been tried, private student loans can be the final piece of the puzzle.

Borrow the minimum you need to get through school, and you’ll be more likely to avoid unmanageable debt when you finish.

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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