TEXAS Grant Program
From Texas Political Almanac
The Texas Legislature established the TEXAS (Towards EXcellence, Access and Success) Grant in 1999 (Texas Education Code, ¡±56.301) to provide funds to academically prepared high school graduates with financial need assistance to pursue a higher education. Since its inception, the Legislature has made significant investments (more than $1.4 billion) in the TEXAS Grant program which has helped more than 275,000 students. However, despite the 43.5 percent or $186.4 million increase in funding by the 81st Texas Legislature in 2009, the program does not meet demand and would need to be funded at a significant higher level in order to serve the increasingly poor Texas student population. If Texas is to meet the participation and success goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015, the state must find ways to distribute limited TEXAS Grant funding more effectively and effi-ciently to encourage financially needy students to enroll in higher education and complete their programs.
The TEXAS Grant has played a vital role in achieving Closing the Gap goals in both participation and success. The program attempts to achieve these two goals through its requirements of students for initial awards (participation) and eligibility for continuation in the program (success). Specifically, for students to receive an initial award, they must:
- Have financial need (cost of attendance less family contribution greater than zero)
- Graduate with the Recommended High School Program (RHSP) or higher
- Enter public higher education within 16 months of graduation
- Be ranked among the neediest applicants (currently no more than a $4,000 Expected Family Contribution)
- Have not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving a controlled substance
- Register for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement
- Have earned an associate¡¦s degree from a public technical, state or community college in Texas and enroll in any public university in Texas no more than 12 months after receiving their associate¡¦s degree
To continue receiving a TEXAS Grant beyond the first year in college, students must meet their insti-tution¡¦s academic progress requirements. However to continue receiving a grant beyond the second year of college, a student must:
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Complete at least 24 semester credit hours per year
- Complete at least 75 percent of the semester credit hours they attempt per year
Students enrolled in four-year degree plans may receive awards for no more than five years; stu-dents in longer-than-four-year degree plans may receive awards for six years. Students entering the TEXAS Grant program directly from high school and meet continuing eligibility requirements may receive awards for up to 150 semester credit hours. Students pursuing an associate's degree and meet eligibility requirements may receive a grant for up to 90 semester credit hours.
A TEXAS Grant may be used at any public institution of higher education in Texas. The award amount (including state and institutional funds) is equal to the statewide average of a student's tuition and required fees.
Limited funding is distributed to eligible students with financial need. The financial aid office at each college and university determines if a TEXAS Grant will be included in a student’s financial aid pack-age. The chart below shows the number of grant recipients by income level for FY 2009. TEXAS Grant recipients in the lowest two income quintiles (less than $45,000 family income) accounted for 80 percent of recipients.
Maximum Award Amounts
(for the 2012-13 school year)
|Universities & state colleges||$7,400 per year|
|Community colleges||$2,400 per year|
|Public technical colleges||$4,400 per year|