Education Grants in Texas
In order to apply and be eligible for most Texas grants, applicants must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which helps schools and organizations see the student's financial need. The FAFSA application can be found in most high school guidance counselor's offices and is also online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It's important to fill out the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible because often grant money is given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
1. Texas Grant II Program
The Texas Grant II Program (TGII) gives financial aid to students who are enrolled in public two-year colleges in Texas. This grant is for Texas residents who can demonstrate financial need with a family contribution of $2000 or less. Applicants must also register, or be exempt from doing so, with the Selective Service and be enrolled at least half-time in a certificate or associate's degree program at a Texas two-year college. Additionally, they must be working on their first degree and not have been convicted of a felony or crime.
Students can receive this grant, if they continue to meet all program requirements, until they complete 75 credit hours or an associate's degree. Academically, students must meet their school's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements by the end of the first year. By the second year, they must complete 75 percent of their attempted credit hours and have an overall GPA of 2.5. To apply, students can talk to a financial aid officer at their school.
2. Hazlewood Act Exemption
This grant is for veterans and their children and gives benefits for up to 150 hours worth of tuition and fee exemptions at Texas state run colleges and universities. Requirements include being a Texas resident; they must have been discharged honorably; have served for a minimum of 181 days after their training was complete; and not be in default on a federal or state education loan. Children of veterans can use their parent's unused hours if the parent was disabled in a service-related injury, killed or reported as missing in action; are Texas residents; under 25 years of age; and meet their school's educational guidelines. Proof of the applicants military service must be shown by providing a DD214 form during the application process. Children must get a letter of evidence from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as evidence of the veteran's disability or death. For full details see http://www.collegefortexans.com/apps/financialaid/tofa2.cfm?ID=500 .
3. Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)
Texas residents who attend two-year colleges and have financial need are eligible for this grant if they are enrolled half-time in a certificate or associate's degree program at a public school in Texas. Students who have not previously earned an associate's or bachelor's degree are eligible. They may continue to receive grant money until they complete 75 semester hours, four years or until they receive their associate's degree. To apply, students should contact their school's financial aid office or download the TEOG pdf for more information
4. Charley Wootan Grant
This grant is primarily for Texas students who are in financial need, are United States citizens and have not yet received a bachelor's degree. Application materials include a letter of enrollment, a completed FAFSA form, a transcript and a copy of the Student Aid Report. Additional information can be found at www.aie.org/wootan.
5. Bureau of Indian Affairs Higher Education Grant
For students with Native American ancestry with at least 1/4 degree of descent from a blood relative and demonstrate financial need, this grant is offered to members of a Native American tribe that is eligible for services through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Applicants can get more information about the application process from their tribe's education office or from http://www.bie.edu/ .
Tips for Grant Applications
1. Fill out all forms completely and accurately. Be sure to include supporting documentation, such as transcripts, tax returns and writing samples, if requested.
2. Apply as early in the application period as possible. This shows that you are punctual and many need based grants are given out to qualified applicants in the order in which the application is received.
3. Apply for every grant and scholarship for which you are eligible. This will increase the amount of money that you may receive. Check with your school advisor, religious organization and community groups for potential grants and scholarships.