Texas College Grants — Best Options and How to Apply

 April 3, 2020
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texas grants

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As a resident of the state or a student attending a Texas school, you could be eligible for a variety of Texas grants for college. If you’re looking to save money on your college costs and avoid taking out too much student loan debt, check out these:

TEXAS (Toward EXcellence, Access and Success) Grant
Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)
Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) for Continuing Education
Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)
Hazlewood Act Exemption
Plus: Additional opportunities for Texas grants and scholarships
Plus: Don’t forget federal grants

TEXAS (Toward EXcellence, Access and Success) Grant

Award amount: $4,896 per semester

The TEXAS Grant program is the largest of the state’s grant programs.

To qualify for the TEXAS Grant, you must:

  • Be a Texas state resident
  • Have significant financial need, typically defined as having a nine-month Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than $5,609
  • Be enrolled at least three-quarter time in a qualifying program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, which is defined as a minimum 2.5 GPA and the successful completion of at least 75% of your courses
  • Be registered with Selective Service, or be exempt

This program was available to vocational and community college students in the past, but it’s now limited to undergrads enrolled in four-year programs.

To receive this grant, you fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Since funds are limited, you should try to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after the application process opens on Oct. 1.

Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)

Award amount: varies by school but won’t be higher than your financial need

The Texas Public Education Grant is open to both residents and nonresidents of Texas, as well as to international students. The TPEG goes to students with financial need who are attending a public Texas college.

Each college sets its own rules for distributing funding, and some schools have more grant money to give than others. Besides meeting the eligibility rules of your school, you must be registered for Selective Service or be exempt.

Qualifying students will automatically receive this grant in their financial aid package based on the information they provided on the FAFSA.

Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) for Continuing Education

Award amount: varies by school but won’t exceed your financial need

The TPEG for Continuing Education is available for state residents, nonresidents and foreign students attending a continuing education program in Texas. Programs that would qualify include those for air conditioning and refrigeration, commercial truck driving and welding.

You must demonstrate financial need to receive this grant. Award amounts vary from school to school.

Along with submitting the FAFSA, you’ll need to send off the TPEG application. You should also speak with your program’s administrator or financial aid office for any school-specific instructions.

Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)

Award amount: varies by type of school

The current maximum award for the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant is $5,876.

This grant provides funding for Texas residents enrolled in two-year colleges. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be registered for Selective Service, or be exempt
  • Be enrolled at least half time
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, typically defined as a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Not be receiving a concurrent TEXAS Grant

To qualify for the TEOG, make sure to submit the FAFSA and check with your college’s financial aid office about any additional steps.

Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)

Award amount: up to $3,420 per year

The Tuition Equalization Grant goes to students attending a private nonprofit college in Texas. In addition to proving financial need, you must:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, meaning you are enrolled on at least a three-quarter basis and have a GPA of at least 2.5
  • Be registered for Selective Service, or be exempt
  • Not be currently receiving an athletic scholarship
  • Show you’re paying more for private college than you would at a public college

You need to submit only the FAFSA to be considered for TEG funding. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, you should reach out to your college’s financial aid office to discuss your individual situation.

Hazlewood Act Exemption

Award amount: up to 150 credit hours of tuition and fees

The Hazlewood Act Exemption isn’t a traditional grant. Rather, it covers up to 150 credit hours’ worth of tuition and fees at state colleges and universities for veterans or children or spouses of veterans.

If you’re a veteran, you must have served 181 days or more in active duty and been honorably discharged. Children or spouses of veterans who were killed or permanently disabled during their military service also might qualify. Along with meeting other requirements, children of veterans can’t be more than 25 years old.

After filling out the required paperwork, you can submit it to your college’s financial aid office.

Additional opportunities for Texas grants and scholarships

Texas also offers grants for specific situations, such as for students in the armed services or for those who plan to study accounting.

If you have a unique situation, consider these alternative Texas grants:

Whatever your situation, make sure to speak with your high school counselor about opportunities for grants and scholarships.

If you’re already in college, contact your financial aid office to learn more about institutional grants. Finally, make the most of scholarship search tools to find scholarships from private organizations.

Everyone can apply for federal grants

While Texas grants are earmarked for Texas residents or students going to Texas colleges, federal grants are available to everyone.

In fact, 81% of the financial aid that goes to Texas students comes from federal sources, according to a 2019 report titled State of Student Aid and Higher Education in Texas by TG Research. Only 8% comes from the state, and an additional 11% comes from Texas colleges.

Federal grants include the following:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Iran and Afghanistan Service Grant

Since much of the federal, state and institutional financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, submitting the FAFSA early will increase your chances of getting help.

Make the most of Texas grants to pay for college

The state of Texas offers millions of dollars in grant money to college students — especially to those with demonstrated financial need. These grants can go a long way toward helping you cover college costs.

To put yourself in the running for these grants, make sure you submit the FAFSA with the most up-to-date information about yourself and your family.

Speak with your high school counselor and your college’s financial aid office about alternative opportunities.

You might need student loans to cover tuition, but you can subsidize the cost with aid in the form of grants and scholarships.

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