Texas scholarships, student loans and grants

How residents of the Lone Star State can get help paying for college.

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Texas students graduated with an average debt load of $27,000 in 2017, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. This is likely because its only two state-funded scholarships are available to a small group of students. But it makes up for that with its multiple grant programs — available to both public and private school students.

Top Texas college scholarships

Texas only has two state scholarships available to residents — and neither are available to the general student population.

Texas Armed Services Scholarship

The Texas Armed Services Scholarship is offered to only a handful of students each year — and it’s not easy to qualify for. The scholarship is designed to encourage students to pursue higher education while training to become a commissioned officer in any branch of the US military or a member of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas State Guard, US Coast Guard, or US Merchant Marine.

Be aware that any failure to meet the program’s eligibility requirements will result in your scholarship being turned into a loan.

Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship

The Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship is geared toward Texas students in their fifth year of study who are pursuing a degree in accounting. It offers up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of attending a qualifying Texas college or university.

Top Texas grants for school

Texas’s scholarship opportunities may be limited to specific groups, but its grants are open to all types of students.

Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)

The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) provides financial aid to residents pursuing an associate degree or certificate at a participating public college in Texas. You can renew your grant up to four times, though you’ll lose funding once you’ve attempted 75 semester credit hours or complete your associate degree.

Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)

The Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) is designed to help any student with financial need, regardless of whether you’re a Texas resident or not, pay to attend a public college or university in the state. How much you qualify for and additional eligibility requirements are determined by your specific school. To learn more, contact your school’s financial aid office.

Toward Excellence, Access and Success Grant Program (TEXAS Grant)

High-achieving Texas high school students may qualify for the TEXAS Grant, which offers up to $9,792 per year to put toward a bachelor’s degree at a participating Texas school. You’ll need to meet quite a few eligibility requirements to qualify, however, and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to renew the grant each year.

Other Texas grants

Depending on your background or area of study, you may also qualify for one of these Texas grants or fellowships:

  • Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas. If you’re a current or former foster child between the ages of 16 and 23, you may qualify for an award of up to $5,000 per year to pursue postsecondary education or training. Your award can be used at any Texas or out-of-state institution.
  • Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship. Pursuing a graduate degree in public affairs, public service or public administration? You may qualify for this fellowship to help pay for tuition and fees at a participating Texas school.
  • Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG). If you plan on attending a private, nonprofit college or university in Texas, you may be eligible for an award of up to $5,130 per year — depending on your financial need.

Do I qualify for Texas scholarships and grants if I go to school out of state?

In general, no. While there are exceptions to this rule, most scholarships and grants funded by the state of Texas require students to attend a postsecondary institution in the state.

Does Texas offer special student loans to residents?

Yes, Texas has two state-funded student loan programs to help residents make paying for school more affordable. Here’s how they break down:

Texas B-On-Time (BOT) Loan Program

The Texas B-On-Time (BOT) Loan Program is currently only open for renewals. It offers no-interest loans to Texas residents who need a little extra funding to pay for school.

Students who haven’t previously received the award may want to consider Texas’s new College Access Loan Program instead.

College Access Loan (CAL) Program

The College Access Loan (CAL) Program offers no-fee, low-interest student loans to Texas residents when scholarships and grants fall short.

Interest rates are fixed at 5.3% — and the state pays for any interest that adds up while you’re in school and during your six-month grace period. Loan terms vary between 10 and 20 years depending on how much you borrow.

For more information, contact the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Borrower Services Department by calling 800-242-3062.

Other ways to pay for school in Texas

Texas scholarships, grants and student loans aren’t the only way to pay for school — you also have federal, institutional and private student aid to consider.

Federal and college scholarships and grants

Begin your search by checking out federal grants available to students — many are based on financial need and geared toward those those who might otherwise struggle to pay for college.

And for those who excelled in high school, many colleges offer merit-based scholarships and grants to students with high test scores or GPAs. In fact, UT Austin offers over 200 different grants and scholarships to high-achieving students depending on the particular college you’re enrolled in.

Federal and private student loans

Once you’ve exhausted your other funding options, student loans can help pick up the slack. You might want to start with federal loans first: They tend to offer the most competitive rates and flexible repayment plans. But there are annual and lifetime limits to how much you can borrow.

If you’re still struggling to cover expenses, it might be time to consider private student loans — just keep a close eye on rates and fees when comparing lenders.

Compare private student loan providers

Updated November 17th, 2019
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Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender (typically, total certified costs of education minus financial aid already received)
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675
$200,000
4.51% to 9.26%
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
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5.45% to 9.74%
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Explore scholarships, student loans and grants in other states

Bottom line

Texas may not have many state-funded scholarships available, but it does offer quite a few grants along with a competitive student loan program. But you can only borrow so much.

Need additional funding? Explore other ways to pay for school with our guide to student loans.

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