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

 August 25, 2020
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How to pay for Texas A&M University

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Hoping to become an Aggie? If you are looking to attend Texas A&M University, you should understand what it will cost to attend and what you can secure in Texas A&M financial aid.

There are a number of funding options for attending Texas A&M University, including loans, grants and scholarships. Check out this guide if you’re planning to go to Texas A&M.

First of all:

Ways to get funding:

Some final thoughts:

How much does it cost to go to Texas A&M University?

Texas A&M is part of a massive state higher education system that includes 11 universities, a health and science center, eight state agencies and the research-based RELLIS campus. There are Texas A&M campuses in cities including San Antonio, Kingsville and Corpus Christi, but its flagship campus is in College Station. The costs for each campus and program may vary, but below you will find the projected 2020-2021 cost of attendance for the College Station Campus.

College Expenses Resident Resident at home with family Non-resident
Tuition and fees $12,744 $12,744 $40,476
Loan fees $64 $64 $64
Housing and meals $11,400 $4,852 $11,400
Books and supplies $1,222 $1,222 $1,222
Travel $2,498 $2,498 $3,292
Personal expenses $3,500 $3,500 $3,500
Total $31,428 $24,880 $59,954

You can use Texas A&M’s tuition calculator to estimate your own costs based on the specific college you plan to attend and the program in which you are planning to enroll.

There is also the opportunity for Texas A&M students to get free tuition, which we will detail in the scholarships section below.

Start with the FAFSA: Unlocking financing options

All U.S. college students, including those going to Texas A&M, have the opportunity to get federal loans and grants. The first step to securing this financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This application is used by schools to determine the federal aid packages for which you qualify. Not only do you need to fill out the FAFSA to get access to federal student loans and grants, but you may also need to do so to get access to state and institutional aid. The FAFSA must be filled out each year that you are seeking financial aid for college.

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 noncitizen Texas residents when determining access to state-level financial aid at Texas A&M University.

You can send in the FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 of the year before you intend to start college, and the final deadline is June 30 of the following year. You should get your application in as soon as possible to ensure you can maximize your aid amount.

Grants for Texas A&M University students

A grant is money that, unlike a loan, 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 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.

According to Texas A&M, 65% of their students get some grant money, and the average award is $10,034. When it comes to their own school grants, the school reports that 58% of students receive them, and the average amount is $5,917. The grants you for which you might be eligible to go to Texas A&M include:

  • Federal Pell Grants: If you’re an undergrad and demonstrate financial need, you may qualify for this grant. Award amounts can change yearly. For the 2020-2021 award year, the amount is $6,345.
  • 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. You’ll have to be enrolled in specific majors at Texas A&M, which include English, chemistry, physics, educational psychology and special education.
  • Texas Public Education Grant: You must demonstrate financial need, based on your student aid applications. However, funding is limited, so you might not receive the grant, even if you qualify.

You can also check with the state of Texas, the Department of Education and Texas A&M’s financial aid site for more information on specific grant programs that you might use to fund your education at Texas A&M University. Here is more about applying to grants in Texas. And please see our guide to getting grants for college without breaking a sweat.

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 certain qualifications such as 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 for Texas A&M University, here are a few programs to consider:

  • The Aggie Assurance Program: This is a program specific to Texas A&M that features a mix of scholarships and grants to fully cover tuition for students whose family income is $60,000 or less. You must be a Texas resident to qualify, and you also must maintain a GPA of at least 2.5. This is part of Texas A&M’s specific no-loan policy for state residents.
  • Century Scholarship: If you’re a graduate of a Century Scholar high school, you may be eligible for $5,000 per year for four years — as long as you maintain an overall GPA of 2.75. Each scholarship also includes $1,000 for a Texas A&M-approved study abroad program.
  • Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholarship: For high academic achievers, this scholarship offers a chance to have costs covered at Texas A&M. You’ll need to be a National Merit semifinalist and have a plan to follow a STEM or business path. There are also graduate scholarships and summer internships associated with the program.
  • 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. Recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA.
  • Phillip 66 SHIELD Scholars: If you’re pursuing a degree in areas related to the energy industry and you’ve already completed at least 30 semester credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.25, you might be eligible for $3,750 per year for your remaining time in college.
  • Regents’ Scholars Program: First-generation college students attending Texas A&M University may receive up to $6,000 per year with this award.

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

There are also 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. You may even be able to get a scholarship for having a quirky talent such as duck calling.

See this guide on 10 scholarship search tools to help you find money for school.

Federal work-study

The federal work-study program provides funds for part-time 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 of which you may qualify if you are a Texas resident and can prove financial need. 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 say so in the financial aid letter you recieve from the school.

You can find out more about work-study jobs at Texas A&M through its student career portal.

Federal student loans

After exhausting your grant and scholarship opportunities, you should look into federal student loans. These 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 plans, as well as access to state-level forgiveness programs, can provide a way to get some of your federal debt discharged.

Options for federal loans include:

  • Direct subsidized loans: These are need-based loans available to undergrads. The government covers interest charges while you’re in school, during your grace period and during any periods of deferment.
  • Direct unsubsidized loans: Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for direct unsubsidized loans, regardless of their financial need. You’ll pay interest while loans are deferred, including while you’re still in school.
  • Direct PLUS loans: Graduate students and parents can qualify for PLUS Loans, but unlike with other direct loan programs, you can’t have bad credit. Interest isn’t subsidized on these loans.
  • Direct consolidation loans: These loans allow you to combine all your federal loans into one loan with one servicer.

There are annual and aggregate limits on federal loans, which you can find here. Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate borrowers have a fixed interest rate of 2.75%, direct unsubsidized loans for graduate students are at 4.30% and PLUS loans have an interest rate of 5.30%. These rates typically change annually.

Texas A&M student loans

If you still need help getting funding for your education, you can apply for student loans from Texas A&M 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. 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 for financing your education at Texas A&M University, you might consider applying for private student loans. You can find these loans 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. Some may also offer forbearance programs, but they may not be as easy to get as they are with federal loans.

On top of that, you typically need to meet the lender’s credit requirements if you want to get a private student loan; if you don’t have a great credit score or the needed income, you might consider finding a cosigner to help you qualify. It’s also possible for parents to get private student loans to help you pay for school.

You should compare private student loan lenders and their offers to see which has the most favorable terms for your financial situation. Generally, you should max out your federal student aid before you turn to private loans to fund your education at Texas A&M University.

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 all other options have been explored, private student loans can be the final piece of the puzzle. If you receive a final award package you think is not quite enough, here is how you might appeal it.

For more information on financing your college education, see these 16 strategies.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

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