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Texas scholarships, student loans and grants

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

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

AmountsUp to $4,000 per year or your school-certified cost of attendance — whichever is less.
Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must meet two of these four academic requirements:

  • Graduated high school with the Distinguished Level of Achievement Plan or the International Baccalaureate Program
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum SAT score of 1070 or ACT score of 23
  • In the top one-third of your graduating class

In addition, you need to meet the following general criteria:

  • Appointed by the governor or lieutenant governor, a state senator or a state representative
  • Enrolled in a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) or an equivalent officer commissioning program
  • Make satisfactory academic progress
  • Agree to complete four years of ROTC training or its equivalent
  • Agree to complete your undergraduate degree in six years or less

As part of your scholarship, you’ll be required to serve as a commissioned officer in any branch of the US Armed Services or a member of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas State Guard, US Coast Guard or US Merchant Marine for four years.

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

AmountsUp to $5,000
Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Texas resident
  • Enrolled at least half time at a participating public or private college or university in Texas
  • Completed at least 120 hours of coursework — including at least 15 hours of accounting
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Submitted an Application of Intent to take the CPA exam to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
  • Making satisfactory academic progress
  • Registered for the Selective Service, if required

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)

AmountsUp to $5,876 per year
Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the TEOP, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Texas resident
  • Enrolled at least half time at a participating public community college, technical college or state college in Texas
  • Pursuing an associate degree or certificate
  • Not concurrently receiving a renewed TEXAS Grant
  • Not convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance
  • Registered for the Selective Service, if required

To renew this grant, you need to maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and successfully complete at least 75% of the semester credit hours you attempt.

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)

AmountsAward amounts vary by school
Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the TPEG, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Texas resident, nonresident or foreign student
  • Attend a participating public college or university in Texas
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Registered for the Selective Service, if required

You may also need to meet other eligibility requirements set by your school.

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)

AmountsUp to $9,792 per year
Eligibility requirements

To initially qualify for the TEXAS Grant, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Texas resident
  • Enrolled at least three-quarter time at a participating Texas school in a bachelor’s degree program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Registered for the Selective Service, if required
  • Not convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance

Eligible students must also meet one of these requirements:

  • Graduated from an accredited public or private high school in Texas and enrolled in a qualifying program within 16 months of graduation
  • Earned an associate degree from a public or private nonprofit institution in Texas and enrolled in a qualifying program within 12 months of receiving degree
  • Graduated from an accredited public or private high school in Texas after June 30, 2013, enlisted in military service within 12 months of graduation and enrolled in an eligible General Academic Teaching Institution (GATI) within 12 months of receiving honorable discharge
  • Transferred into a public university in Texas with at least 24 semester credit hours and a minimum 2.5 GPA

Finally, in addition to the requirements listed above, you may receive priority consideration if you meet two of these requirements:

  • Completed 12 college credit hours through dual enrollment or AP courses, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program or the Recommended or Advanced High School Program — or its equivalent
  • Meet the Texas Success Initiatives (TSI) assessment thresholds or qualify for an exemption
  • Graduated in the top third of your class or have a B average
  • Completed at least one math course beyond Algebra II and at least one advanced career and technical course

      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

      Amounts

      How much you can borrow depends on the type of school you’re attending:

      • Public universities, health-related institutes and private institutions: Up to $9,792 per year
      • Public state colleges: Up to $5,876 per year
      • Public technical institutes: Up to $5,988 per year
      • Public community colleges: Up to $3,272 per year

      While there’s no interest for a BOT Loan, you’ll be charged a 3% origination fee that’s deducted from your loan funds before disbursement.

      Eligibility requirements

      The BOT Loan Program is currently only accepting renewal applicants at this time. To qualify for renewal, you need to meet the following criteria:

      • Texas resident or dependent child of a member of the US Armed Forces
      • Enrolled full time in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible institution
      • Completed at least 75% of the semester credit hours you attempted during the previous academic year
      • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
      • Completed the FAFSA and eligible to receive federal student aid
      • Haven’t received a BOT Loan for more than 150 semester credit hours
      • No previously earned bachelor’s degree

      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

      Amounts

      Borrow as little as $100 all the way up to your school-certified cost of attendance

      Eligibility requirements

      To qualify, student borrowers need to meet the following criteria:

      • Texas resident
      • Enrolled at least half time in a certificate, associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree program or an approved alternative educator certification program
      • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
      • Meet credit requirements or apply with a cosigner who does

      Cosigners need to meet the following eligibility requirements to qualify:

      • At least 21 years old
      • Regular source of income
      • Experian VantageScore of 650 or higher
      • At least four open credit accounts — not including student loans or authorized user accounts
      • No defaults on federal or private student loans
      • Not the borrower or borrower’s spouse
      • No tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings
      • US citizen or permanent resident
      • Live in the US or a US territory

      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

      Explore your options by APR, minimum credit score, loan amount and loan term. Select the Get started button to start an application with a specific lender.

      Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
      Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
      As low as 2%
      None
      Up to $25,000
      2 to 10 years
      A student loan alternative for graduate students based on your future salary.
      EDvestinU Private Student Loans
      4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
      675
      $1,000 - $200,000
      7 to 20 years
      Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
      CommonBond Private Student Loans
      3.74% to 10.74%
      700
      $5,000 - $500,000
      5 to 15 years
      Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
      Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
      Varies by lender
      Varies by lender
      Varies by lender
      Varies by lender
      Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
      Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)
      Starting at 0.99% with autopay
      Good to excellent credit
      Starting at $1,000
      5 to 20 years
      Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
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      Compare up to 4 providers

      Explore scholarships, student loans and grants in other states

      Choose a loan provider from the list below for more information on its services.

      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.

      Frequently asked questions

      How do I apply for Texas scholarships and grants?

      It depends on the program. Some only require applicants to fill out the FAFSA or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), while others may require a separate application.

      Visit the scholarship or grant page on the College for All Texans website to learn more.

      Who should fill out the TASFA?

      The Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) is only meant for residents of Texas who aren’t eligible to fill out the FAFSA.

      If you are eligible to fill out the FAFSA, you should — it will give you the opportunity to receive both state and federal financial aid, as well as qualify for some grants that aren’t open to students who fill out the TASFA.

      How do I know if I meet the credit requirements for a College Access Loan?

      To qualify for a College Access Loan, you or your cosigner need to meet the following credit requirements:

      • Experian VantageScore of 650 or higher
      • At least four open credit accounts — not including student loans or authorized user accounts
      • No defaults on federal or private student loans
      • No tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings

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