GETTING FINANCIAL AID FOR THE COLLEGE-BOUND
Paying for college can be hard, but there are several resources available to help with financial assistance. College bound individuals should consider their options before deciding and try to take advantage of all aid offered to them. For some aid programs, students will need to provide dependency information, citizenship information, and parents’ financial records. Grants are issued by states, the federal government, and by individual universities. Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements. There are other individualized programs like work-study that schools offer to help pay for education and expenses while enrolled. Financial aid is intended for use on tuition, books, supplies, transportation, and room and board. The most common source of financial aid comes from the U.S Department of Education which can determine the amount of aid from a FAFSA submitted by the student. Learn about other programs to assist with financial aid for college in the following sections:
- Texas Student Aid
- Texas College Grants
- Texas Scholarships
Texas Student Aid
The Texas Application for State Financial Aid is for dependent and independent students and is used to determine aid on a state level for prospective students. This is used as an alternative to the FAFSA form for students who are TX residents and who cannot apply for federal aid using FAFSA. Both forms will require extensive information about the student and will ask for financial information from the parents or legal guardians.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will assess what students are qualified for grants, work-study,` and loans. This is the most common form of obtaining financial aid for college. All programs offered are through the federal government, including loans.
Texas College Grants
Texas offers grants for students who meet certain criteria. The student cannot have any criminal convictions or crimes involving drugs. Students must have a financial need for the grant and must have an Expected Family Contribution that does not exceed a predetermined amount. They must also be a high school graduate. Another grant that Texas offers is the Educational Opportunity Grant which is for two year public colleges. It is important to note that grants do not need to be repaid and are need-based.
The Federal Pell Grant is based on the number of hours a student enrolls for during undergraduate studies. A Pell grant cannot be used when a bachelor’s degree has been obtained or for graduate studies. Attendance in registered courses are required to not lose the Pell Grant or have it reduced.
There are many Texas scholarships for college students to apply for. Freshmen scholarships have three categories including National Scholarships, Assured Scholarships and Competitive Scholarships. The Assured Scholarship and the National Scholarships are awarded upon enrollment pending minimum academic standards. Assured scholarships are determined by SAT or ACT scores, high school transcript and admission application. There are two kinds of National Scholarships which are National Merit and National Hispanic and are only issued for select universities. Competitive scholarships are based on applications including the essay submission.