Financial Aid and Student Loans in Texas

A lot of people settle in Texas for the Tex-Mex vibe and pleasant weather. But it also happens that the state is an excellent destination for education. 

However, Texas is not immune to the rising cost of education that’s hitting the nation. Fortunately, the state combats this by having plenty of financial aid available. These include scholarships, grants, and student loan programs that help make a college education much more accessible to Texans.

Government or institutional aid should always be your first step when seeking out financing for your education. These are usually free so that you don’t need to repay them later on.

We’ve listed some of the financial options available to you if you’re a Texas resident. Try exploring them first – you’ll find out that you might be more qualified for these programs than you think!

What scholarship programs does Texas have?

Texas has a wealth of scholarship options available exclusively to state residents. These run the gamut from public-funded scholarships to those sponsored by private corporations.

Scholarships, in general, are merit-based. It means they take academic achievement and extracurricular activities as the basis for selection. Different scholarships have varying standards for their requirements, so you have a lot of flexibility here.

Here we list the most common Texas scholarships. In addition to these, you can also use services like Collegeboard,’s Find Scholarship Feature, or Fastweb. These free resources can help you find local or federal scholarships for which you can qualify.

Austin Board of Realtors Scholarship

The Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) Scholarship awards up to 25 eligible high school seniors, each receiving $2,000 each. It was established in 1978 by the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation and had been running every year since.

Here are the requirements for applying for the scholarship

  • Must be a resident in any of the 18 counties under ABoR’s MLS service areas
  • Must be planning to enroll in a Texas state college, university or accredited trade school
  • Must be a high school graduating senior

Shortlisted applicants will then undergo a panel-style interview for 15 minutes. Winning applicants will then attend a scholarship awards reception event.

Caleb Tripp Thornton Memorial Scholarship

The Caleb Tripp Thornton Memorial Scholarship is a fundraising scholarship that awards up to $2,600 to an eligible Texas first-year college student. It’s named for Texas resident Caleb Tripp Thronton, who tragically died in a car accident. His sister, Kristi, set up the 26forCaleb movement and this memorial scholarship in her brother’s name to help individual students succeed in college and life.

Here are the requirements to apply for the scholarship:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Proof of residency in Texas
  • Transcript of records

Association of Texas Leaders for Education (ATLE) Scholarship

The ATLE Scholarship is a program established by the Association of Texas Leaders for Education. It aims to help Texas students who wish to pursue a college education in the state. The scholarship awards up to $1,000 to pay for tuition and other fees.

The requirements for the ATLE scholarship include:

  • Must be a Texas resident graduating from any high school in the state
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Has demonstrated involvement in school and community activities
  • Will enroll as a full-time student at any accredited college, university or technical school in Texas
  • Proof of financial need may be taken into account
  • School references

All applications will be reviewed and decided by the Community Foundation of West Texas Board of Directors. Scholarship funds are then sent directly to the school to pay for tuition, fees, and book allowance.

Macy’s Emergency Scholarship Fund

The Macy’s Emergency Scholarship Fund aims at individuals who can’t finish their college education because of a sudden financial need.

Note that the fund doesn’t cover emergencies due to poor financial decisions (credit card debt, personal loans, etc.). Only emergencies from the following situations will be eligible:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Loss of job or source of income
  • Damage due to natural disaster
  • Fire
  • Burglary
  • Pending eviction or foreclosure

Here are the requirements to apply for the Macy Fund:

  • Must be a resident of Texas (also applies to other select states)
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited university or college
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Budget breakdown of funds needed, with proof
  • An essay explaining why you need immediate financial aid

V&E Diversity Scholarships

The V&E Diversity Scholarship is a program established by the international law firm Vinson and Elkins (V&E). It awards up to $10,000 to exceptional students who have an interest in pursuing a law education but who don’t have the financial means to do so.

In addition to the scholarship money, V&E scholars can also do summer internships at V&E. They can also get reimbursement for LSAT preparatory courses they wish to take after graduation.

Here are the requirements for the V&E Diversity Scholarship:

  • Must be legal residents in the Houston, Austin, or Dallas areas for the past seven years
  • Be a member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group in the legal profession or the LGBTQ community
  • Be in the top 20% of their senior high school class
  • Have a minimum score of 22 on the ACT or 1,100 on the SAT
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proof of financial need
  • A 500 – 1,500-word essay of your personal and career goals

What grant programs does Texas have?

In addition to scholarships, Texas also awards grants to its student residents. However, instead of taking academic performance into account, grants are given to those with exceptional financial needs.

To qualify for grants, you first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process. It indicates your level of financial need when applying for grants. Click here to know more about FAFSA and how to apply.

Here are some Texas grants you can check out

Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)

The Texas Public Education Grant is financial assistance given by most public colleges and universities in Texas. The funding draws from its resources, so each institution has its requirements, amount, and details with the TPEG program.

Here are the basic requirements to qualify for the TPEG:

  • Must enroll in a public college or university in Texas (no private non-profit or career colleges)
  • Proof of exceptional financial need (FAFSA highly preferred)
  • Registration for Selective Service (unless exempt)
  • Any other requirements set by your chosen college or university.

To begin applying, check with your school’s financial aid office.

Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)

The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant is explicitly designed for students attending two-year public colleges in Texas. The grant is also only open to those who have finished or are attending a high school in Houston, Texas.

The total amount awarded is $5,862 per year up to a maximum of four years, or when the student earns the degree.

Here are the requirements for the TEOG

  • Proof of residency in Texas
  • No prior conviction or crime that involves controlled substances
  • Demonstrated financial need (have a nine-month EFC of less than $5,609)
  • Not currently receiving a renewal for a Texas grant
  • Must enroll in a public state, community or technical college in Texas

Once students receive the TEOG, they have to maintain it yearly. In addition to the above requirements, students must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Complete 75% of attempted hours

What student loan programs does Texas have?

Texas has several options when it comes to student loans. Here are some of them:

College Access Loan (CAL)

The College Access Loan is a public loan extended by the Texas government to students who are unable to meet their schooling needs. The loan amount varies but generally takes eligibility for any federal student aid into account. The minimum amount of a loan is $100.

To qualify for the CAL, here are the requirements:

  • Proof of residency in Texas
  • Enrolled or will enroll at least half-time at an accredited Texas college, university or institution.
  • Enrolled in a course that awards a certificate, bachelor’s, associate or any higher degree
  • Have a favorable credit evaluation or have a credit-worthy co-signer

Aside from the College Access Loan, students in Texas have the option of pursuing other nationally-available options. 

Federal student loans

Prospective Texas students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Texas

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While w

e’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What schools does Funding U lend to in Texas?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans go to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities. We do not lend to for-profit schools, two-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools. Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate. Because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum six-year graduation rates that schools must reach to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Texas that Funding U currently lends to, with additional details on which grades we now lend to, based on the school’s six-year graduation rate.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Abilene Christian UniversityNoNoYesYes6777
Angelo State UniversityNoNoNoNo3467
Arlington Baptist UniversityNoNoNoNo1940
Austin CollegeNoYesYesYes7081
Baptist University of the AmericasNoNoNoNo3332
Baylor UniversityNoYesYesYes7990
Concordia University-TexasNoNoNoNo3560
Criswell CollegeNoNoNoNo1592
Dallas Baptist UniversityNoNoYesYes5370
Dallas Christian CollegeNoNoNoNo2150
East Texas Baptist UniversityNoNoNoNo3555
Hardin-Simmons UniversityNoNoNoNo4875
Houston Baptist UniversityNoNoNoNo4072
Howard Payne UniversityNoNoNoNo4448
Huston-Tillotson UniversityNoNoNoNo2351
Jarvis Christian CollegeNoNoNoNo1842
Lamar UniversityNoNoNoNo2764
LeTourneau UniversityNoNoYesYes6182
Lubbock Christian UniversityNoNoNoNo4769
McMurry UniversityNoNoNoNo3362
Messenger CollegeNoNoNoNo1440
Midwestern State UniversityNoNoNoNo4267
North American UniversityNoNoNoNo4546
Our Lady of the Lake UniversityNoNoNoNo3761
Paul Quinn CollegeNoNoNoNo2062
Prairie View A & M UniversityNoNoNoNo3571
Rice UniversityYesYesYesYes9597
Saint Edward's UniversityNoNoYesYes6380
Sam Houston State UniversityNoNoYesYes5277
Schreiner UniversityNoNoNoNo4571
Southern Methodist UniversityNoYesYesYes7891
Southwestern Adventist UniversityNoNoNoNo4981
Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityNoNoNoNo4472
Southwestern UniversityNoYesYesYes7486
St. Mary's UniversityNoNoYesYes5673
Stephen F Austin State UniversityNoNoNoNo4872
Sul Ross State UniversityNoNoNoNo2558
Tarleton State UniversityNoNoNoNo4667
Texas A & M International UniversityNoNoNoNo4676
Texas A & M University-Central TexasNoNoNoNo
Texas A & M University-College StationNoYesYesYes8292
Texas A & M University-CommerceNoNoNoNo4067
Texas A & M University-Corpus ChristiNoNoNoNo3759
Texas A & M University-KingsvilleNoNoNoNo3768
Texas A&M University-San AntonioNoNoNoNo71
Texas A&M University-TexarkanaNoNoNoNo2857
Texas Christian UniversityNoYesYesYes8391
Texas CollegeNoNoNoNo1050
Texas Lutheran UniversityNoNoYesYes5372
Texas Southern UniversityNoNoNoNo2157
Texas State UniversityNoNoYesYes5578
Texas Tech UniversityNoNoYesYes6084
Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterNoNoNoNo
Texas Wesleyan UniversityNoNoNoNo3857
Texas Woman's UniversityNoNoNoNo4378
The King's UniversityNoNoNoNo3380
The University of Texas at ArlingtonNoNoNoNo4971
The University of Texas at AustinNoYesYesYes8395
The University of Texas at DallasNoYesYesYes7288
The University of Texas at El PasoNoNoNoNo3974
The University of Texas at San AntonioNoNoNoNo4074
The University of Texas at TylerNoNoNoNo4564
The University of Texas of the Permian BasinNoNoNoNo4166
The University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyNoNoNoNo4679
Trinity UniversityNoYesYesYes7689
University of DallasNoNoYesYes6685
University of HoustonNoNoYesYes5985
University of Houston-DowntownNoNoNoNo2072
University of Houston-VictoriaNoNoNoNo1956
University of Mary Hardin-BaylorNoNoNoNo4573
University of North TexasNoNoYesYes5378
University of North Texas at DallasNoNoNoNo3077
University of St Thomas (Texas)NoNoYesYes5785
University of the Incarnate WordNoNoNoNo4976
Wayland Baptist UniversityNoNoNoNo2442
West Texas A & M UniversityNoNoNoNo4464
Wiley CollegeNoNoNoNo3856
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