Everything is bigger in Texas. You have most likely heard that saying before. It is not just a cliché though because everything truly is bigger in Texas. The Lone Star State is the second largest state in the nation at 268,596 sq. miles, so there is plenty of room to spread out and build grand homes, structures and more.

One of those things that falls into the bigger in Texas category is college financial aid programs. The state offers its college-bound residents some extremely helpful financial aid programs to help them afford to receive a higher education.

Some of these great Texas college financial aid programs include the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant; Toward EXcellence, Access and Success Grant; Tuition Equalization Grant, Texas Public Educational Grant; and the Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas Program.

Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program

The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG) is designed to help students enrolled in public Texas two-year colleges afford to receive a higher education.

To be eligible for the TEOG, a student must:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Be enrolled at least as a half-time student
  • Be an undergraduate student at an eligible public Texas two-year postsecondary institution
    • These institutions include public Texas community colleges, technical institutes and state colleges.
  • Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • If the student is not eligible for FAFSA, they can file the Texas Application for State Federal Aid (TASFA).
  • Not have attempted over 30 semester credit hours in their higher education career
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or a controlled substance-related crime

To apply for TEOG, a student simply needs to complete and file FAFSA or TASFA. If either one is submitted between October 1 through January 15, the student will be considered a priority for selection. The student’s school’s financial aid office determines TEOG eligibility and will notify the student about their award.

The grant is renewable as long as the student continues to meet the initial eligibility criteria and meets annual satisfactory academic progress.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, full-time students can receive up to $1,711 per semester at community colleges, $2,143 per semester at state colleges and $3,238 per semester at technical institutes. Students who are enrolled between half-time and full-time can receive grants for less than the maximum amounts.

Toward EXcellence, Access and Success Grant Program

The Toward EXcellence, Access and Success Grant Program (TEXAS Grant) is designed to help students enrolled in public Texas colleges and universities or health-related institutions afford to receive a higher education.

To be eligible for the TEXAS Grant, a student must:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Be enrolled at least as a three-quarter time student
  • Complete and file FAFSA
    • If the student is not eligible for FAFSA, they can file the Texas Application for State Federal Aid (TASFA).
  • Not yet have earned a bachelor’s degree
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or a controlled substance-related crime
  • Be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible public Texas college or university or health-related institution and follow one of the following pathways:
    • High School Graduation Pathway
      • The student must graduate from an accredited public or private Texas high school AND be enrolled at an approved college prior to the end of the 16th month following the student’s high school graduation.
      • The student must not yet have attempted to take 30 or more semester credit hours (excluding dual enrollment credits or exam credits).
    • Associate Degree Pathway
      • The student must be enrolled at an approved college prior to the end of the 12th month following earning an associate degree.
    • Honorable Military Discharge Pathway
      • The student must be enrolled at an approved college within 12 months after being honorably discharged from their military service.
      • The student must have been enlisted in the military within 12 months after their graduation from a public or private Texas high school on or after May 1, 2013.
      • The student must not yet have attempted to take 30 or more semester credit hours (excluding dual enrollment credits or exam credits).
    • Transfer Pathway
      • The student must have completed at least 24 semester credit hours with a minimum 2.50 GPA.
      • The student must have received TEOG during or after the fall 2014 semester.
      • The student must be transferring to an approved college with a minimum 2.50 GPA.
    • Eligible postsecondary institutions for the grant include public Texas colleges and universities, including health-related institutions.

Priority consideration for the grant is given to those students who take the High School Graduation Pathway and the Honorable Military Discharge Pathway as long as the student meets at least one high school graduation requirement in at least two of these four areas:

  • Advanced Academic Program
    • Complete 12 hours of college credit via dual enrollment credits or AP courses.
    • Complete the equivalent of the Recommended or Advanced High School Program.
    • Complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program.
  • TSI Readiness
    • Meet the Texas Success Initiatives (TSI) assessment thresholds or qualify for exemption.
  • Class Standing
    • Graduate in the top one-third of the student’s graduating high school class.
    • Graduate with a 3.00 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale.
  • Advanced Math
    • Complete at least one math class beyond Algebra II.
    • Complete at least one advanced career and technical or technical applications course.

To apply for the TEXAS Grant, a student simply needs to complete and file FAFSA or TASFA. If either one is submitted between October 1 through January 15, the student will be considered a priority for selection. The student’s school’s financial aid office determines TEXAS Grant eligibility and will notify the student about their award.

The grant is renewable as long as the student continues to meet the initial eligibility criteria and meets annual satisfactory academic progress.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, a student can receive up to $5,195 per semester from the grant.

Tuition Equalization Grant Program

The Tuition Equalization Grant Program (TEG) is designed to help students attending nonprofit private Texas colleges and universities afford to receive a higher education.

To be eligible for the TEG, a student must:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Be enrolled in an eligible Texas postsecondary institution in a degree program leading to a first-time associate, bachelor’s, master’s, professional or doctoral degree (excluding degrees leading towards religious ministry)
    • Eligible institutions are only nonprofit private Texas colleges and universities.
  • Be enrolled at least as a three-quarter time student
  • Need to pay more tuition than is required at a comparable public college or university
  • Complete and file FAFSA
    • If the student is not eligible for FAFSA, they can file the Texas Application for State Federal Aid (TASFA).
  • Not yet have earned a degree for the program in which they are currently enrolled
  • Not be a recipient of an athletic scholarship during any semester where the student receives a TEG award

To apply for TEG, a student simply needs to complete and file FAFSA or TASFA. If either one is submitted between October 1 through January 15, the student will be considered a priority for selection. The student’s school’s financial aid office determines TEG eligibility and will notify the student about their award.

The grant is renewable as long as the student continues to meet the initial eligibility criteria and meets annual satisfactory academic progress.

For the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years, students can receive up to $3,497 per year from the grant. If an undergraduate student exemplifies an exceptional need for funding—meaning their estimated family contribution is equal to or less than $1,000—they can receive up to $5,246 per year.

Texas Public Educational Grant Program

The Texas Public Educational Grant Program (TPEG) is designed to help students enrolled in public Texas colleges and universities afford to receive a higher education.

To be eligible for the TPEG, a student must:

  • Be a Texas resident, non-resident or foreign student
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Be enrolled at an eligible public Texas college or university
  • Complete and file FAFSA

To apply for the grant, a student needs to complete and file FAFSA. Each school sets its own eligibility and priority criteria because each school provides students with its own funds from its own pool of monetary resources.

As long as a student files FAFSA, the student’s school’s financial aid office will notify the student if they qualify to receive TPEG funding. A student’s TPEG award will never be more than the student’s financial need, though each school sets its own maximum award amount.

Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas

The Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas Program (Texas ETV) is designed to assist current and former foster children ages 16 to 23 to begin, continue and complete postsecondary education and training programs with provided funds.

To be eligible for the Texas ETV, a student must:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be between the ages of 16 to 21
    • If the student is 16 years old, they will be eligible if they are likely to remain in foster care until the age of 18.
    • If the student has aged out of foster care, but is not yet 21 years old, they remain eligible.
    • If the student was adopted from foster care after turning 16 years old, but is not yet 21 years old, they remain eligible.
    • If the student is not yet 21 years old and has entered CPS Permanency Care Assistance after turning 16 years old, they remain eligible.
  • Have a high school diploma or be exempt from required school attendance
  • Be enrolled in a public or private Texas postsecondary institution that provides bachelor’s degrees or
  • Be enrolled in a two-year program that provides credit towards an associate degree or certificate or
  • Be enrolled in a one-year training program that leads towards gainful employment
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six semester credit hours
  • Be participating in an educational or training program on their 21st birthday to remain eligible until the age of 23 as long as they continue to be enrolled in school and make satisfactory academic progress annually towards their degree or certificate
  • Attend an eligible institution including any Texas public or private postsecondary institution or an out-of-state postsecondary institution that is accredited or granted pre-accepted status.

In order to apply for the Texas ETV, a student must visit the Texas ETV website or call to talk to an ETV coordinator. A student can also contact the regional Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) office to discuss the next steps with the staff.

A student can receive up to $5,000 per year from the program. Those funds can be used towards covering the student’s tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, child care (if applicable) and certain personal expenses.

Major Texas Colleges and Universities

Texas is home to a large number of colleges and universities, as the state’s slogan infers. Some of the popular schools in the state include:

  • Angelo State University in San Angelo (public)
  • Baylor University in Waco (private)
  • Lamar University in Beaumont (public)
  • Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls (public)
  • Rice University in Houston (private)
  • Sam Houston State University in Huntsville (public)
  • Sul Ross State University in Alpine (public)
  • Texas A&M University in College Station (public)
  • Texas Christian University in Fort Worth (private)
  • Texas College in Tyler (private)
  • Texas State University in San Marcos (public)
  • Texas Tech University in Lubbock (public)
  • University of Dallas in Irving (private)
  • University of Houston in Houston (public)
  • University of North Texas in Denton (public)
  • University of Texas (main campus) in Austin (public)

Texas residents should be super excited to have so many great college financial aid programs available to them so they can afford to receive a Texas-sized higher education.