1 College Planning Guide & Financial Aid for Texas Students It s called higher education, because that s where it takes you. College for all Texans Educación Superior para todos en Texas
2 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COLLEGE ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID Contact the financial aid or admissions office at any college or university in Texas. You will find a list in the center of this book. Texas Financial Aid Information Center Bilingual counselors available Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. 5 p.m. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Texas Tomorrow Funds Information on Texas college savings plans: GRAD ( ) TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SCHOLARSHIPS FastWEB A customized scholarship search engine with more than 300 references. Peterson s Education & Career Center Scholarship search and other resources. Scholarships.com Free college scholarship search and financial aid information. Office of Rural Community Affairs Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation TO LEARN MORE ABOUT APLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS ApplyTexas Apply for admission to any Texas public community college and university, as well as to participating private institutions. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EDUCATIONAL AND WORKFORCE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES Texas Workforce Commision
3 A college degree empowers you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed, not only in the workplace, but in life. In college, you are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and develop a better understanding of the world around you. As a college graduate, you will be able to contribute more to your family, your community, and your future. Think about what kind of job you might like in the future. Most professions, including those in healthcare, computer technology, and engineering, for example, require a college degree or certificate. You can learn more about requirements for different careers, and what majors are offered at Texas public colleges and universities at If you know the direction you are going, you ll stay on track, saving yourself time and money.
4 THE INVESTMENT OF A LIFETIME Over a lifetime of work, a college graduate can expect to earn almost twice as much as someone with only a high school diploma, and someone with a professional degree, such as a doctor or lawyer, can make almost four times as much. TEXAS HAS A COLLEGE FOR YOU With more than 100 public universities and community and technical colleges, plus 40 independent or private institutions, higher education opportunities in Texas are as diverse as the state itself. Freshmen - Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas 400, , , , Universities Community and Technical Colleges Fall 2007 Fall-2006 Fall-2005 Fall-2004 Fall-2003 Fall ,556 93,773 91,557 93,814 94,789 94, , , , , , ,151 In Texas, more than 80 percent of incoming freshmen go to public community colleges because they offer affordable, quality instruction at convenient times and locations. It s a smart decision. Students at Texas community and technical colleges learn from highly qualified professionals who focus their attention on Doctoral teaching so that their students learn. Classes are held at convenient times and locations to accommodate students who work. Master's About half of the students attending community and technical colleges intend to earn a certificate, an associate s degree, or a bachelor s degree Seniors to prepare for a specific occupation, which may require some kind of license or certification. Another 31 percent of these students are enrolled Juniors in associate s degree programs, and many of them plan to transfer to a public university to complete bachelor s degrees. Sophmores Freshman
5 Most students attending Texas public universities are earning a bachelor s degree These institutions also offer master s, doctoral, and professional degrees Community College Student Intention Get a Certificate, Associate, 53.8% 0 or Bachelor s Degree Transfer 31.2% Improve Job Skills or Personal 9.6% Did not respond 5.4% Total 100% Public Univerisity Enrollment Fall 2007 Professional: 1% Doctoral: 4% Post Baccalaureate: 3% Master s: 14% Freshmen: 19% Doctoral Master's Seniors Juniors Seniors: 25% Sophmores: 15% Sophmores Freshman Juniors: 19% Post Baccalauereate Seventy-eight percent of students attending Texas public or independent (private) universities are undergraduates students seeking their Bachelor s Degree. Professional YOU NEED A STRONG MIND, OR YOU LL FALL BEHIND The best way to get ready for college is to take challenging courses in high school. The Recommended High School Program (RHSP) and the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) are college prep programs. The DAP indicates that you are performing at the college or professional level when you graduate from high school. You must complete the RHSP or DAP, and demonstrate financial need to be eligible for some state and federal aid such as a TEXAS Grant, B-On-Time Loan, or Academic Achievement Grant, which can help pay for your tuition and fees.
6 RECOMMENDED HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM (RHSP) * English, Language Arts 4 credits (English I, II, III, IV) Mathematics 4 credits (Three of the credits must be Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. After successful completion of these 3 courses, a student may select the fourth required credit from a list of state-approved Mathematics courses. Please check with your counselor on the availability of courses.) Science 4 credits (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Principles of Technology I) Social Studies 4 credits (World History; World Geography; U.S. History since Reconstruction; U.S. Government (.5 credit), Economics (.5 credit)) Language other than English 2 credits (same language) Physical Education 1.5 credits Fine Arts 1 credit Technology Applications 1 credit Health Education -.5 credit Speech.5 credit Electives 3.5 credits *All students entering the ninth grade at a Texas public high school in fall 2004 or later, are automatically enrolled in the Recommended High School Program. DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM (DAP) The Distinguished Achievement Program (24 credits), the state s most advanced high school graduation plan, includes the RHSP and a third year of foreign language. In addition, the student must achieve a combination of four of the following: Score 3 or above on a College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Score 4 or above on an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam. Each exam qualifies as a requirement. Complete original research or project under the direction of a mentor(s), judged by qualified professionals and reported to a qualified audience. Earn a Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) score that qualifies you as a Commended Scholar or higher. Earn a grade of 3.0 or higher on courses that count for college credit (dual or concurrent credit, TechPrep). See your high school counselor for more information.
7 EARN COLLEGE CREDIT IN HIGH SCHOOL Your counselor can also tell you how you can begin earning high school credit in middle school and college credit in high school. You can earn college credit in high school with TechPrep, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Dual Credit courses. STAY INVOLVED Selective universities look for good students with well-rounded backgrounds, so involvement in extracurricular activities is important. You might mentor a younger student, volunteer in your community or be active in sports, music (could be band, orchestra, or chorus), drama, or other organizations.
8 ARE YOU READY? All students, except those who score at or above the College Readiness Standard on the exit-level TAKS test or meet the equivalent cut scores on the ACT or SAT, must take a Texas Success Initiative test before starting college. Your college advisor will use the results to help you choose your college courses. If you need to strengthen skills, your college advisor will recommend appropriate assistance such as developmental education courses, computerbased instruction, or tutoring. Each college or university determines when students are ready for college-level work. Ask your college admissions office for more information. UNDERSTANDING THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS Admissions requirements vary among colleges and universities in Texas. Each university sets its own admissions standards, but all Texas public colleges or universities automatically admit applicants who rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Some also automatically admit those who graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school class. All students must submit an application for admission and have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
9 Most universities require applicants to take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Testing program (ACT). SAT: ACT: Universities may require or recommend certain high school courses. Basic admissions requirements for each of these universities are provided online at By reviewing these requirements, you ll have a better idea about how to prepare while you re in high school. Most universities offer special programs that let promising students enroll even if they do not meet all of the admissions requirements. Check with the university admissions office for specific information. You can use the Apply Texas Application to apply to any public 2-year or 4-year instituition in the state. Download a copy at or complete it online at All qualified applicants are admitted to Texas public community and technical colleges. Contact community and technical colleges directly for their applications. If you are like many students who go to a community college before transferring to a university, be sure and check the transfer requirements for the university you plan to attend. FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE For most students and their families, college costs play a large role in
10 determining which colleges or universities they consider. Location may be important to students who want to save money on expenses by continuing to live with their families while they attend college. Every year, billions of dollars in student financial aid are available to Texas students. If you need help paying for college, you re not alone. About half of Texas college students receive financial aid. There are many free resources to help students find information about financial aid programs. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only form you need to fill out for most types of financial aid, including the federal Pell Grant, federal subsidized loans, the state s TEXAS Grant, and the Federal Pell Grant Program.* Submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible for the following fall semester. In completing the form, you must include information from your and your family s completed or estimated income tax return. You must apply for most scholarships separately. These are usually earned for academic achievement, outstanding abilities, or unique talents.. In addition to resources you may be familiar with, you can search for scholarships online. Institutions may also provide scholarships for dorm expenses, books and supplies, childcare, and other needs. Contact the financial aid office for more information. * If you are ineligible for federal aid because of citizenship but you are classified as a Texas resident by your institution, you can apply for state aid by completing the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). However, this form is not accepted by all Texas institutions. For more information go to com.
11 Costs for Texas Residents Taking 30 Credit Hours Fall and Spring Semesters ( ) Tuition & Fees Total Cost Degrees Public Community Colleges $1,639 $10,456 Associate Certificate Required Test(s)* Public Universities $5,732 $17,494 Baccalaureate SAT/ACT Masters Professional Doctorate Public Technical Colleges $2,806 $12,564 Associate Certificate Public State Colleges (Lamar) $3,475 $11,886 Lamar State College at Orange Doctorate Public Health-Related Institutions $5,500 $23,806 Baccalaureate Masters Professional Doctorate Independent Institutions $17,378 $26,896 Associate SAT/ACT Baccalaureate Masters Professional Doctorate *Varies by institution Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
14 Financial Aid for Texas Students Every year, Texas college students receive billions of dollars in financial aid.
15 EARNING A COLLEGE DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE MAY NOT COST AS MUCH AS YOU THINK. Don t think you can afford to go to college? With the right planning, a college education is within reach for every Texan. A college degree is the best investment you can make in your future. You will have more job opportunities and, over your lifetime, earn almost twice as much money as you would have with only a high school diploma. The cost of college depends on where you go, where you live, the degree you earn, and how long it takes you to complete your degree. In Texas, average tuition and fees for a 15-hour semester range from $820 at a public community college to $8,689 at an independent or private college or university.
16 TIPS FOR REDUCING COLLEGE COSTS Be prepared to take college-level courses. Get ready for college while in high school. Take the Recommended High School Program or the Distinguished Achievement Program. If you are not prepared for college-level work, you must pay to take developmental education courses before enrolling in courses for your degree. Earn your degree or certificate as quickly as you can. Earn college credit in high school. With TechPrep, Dual Credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, you can earn college credit for courses you take in high school. Get college credit for what you already know by taking a College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam. Plan for your college experience. Explore career options early to avoid changing majors and spending more time in college. Start at a community college. Tuition and fees are less than at universities. Many students also save money by living at home while they attend community college. Average Cost to Take 30 Hours While Attending Higher Education Institutions in Texas, Fall and Spring Semesters ( ) Public Universities Public Health Related Institutions Public Community Colleges Public State Colleges Public Technical Colleges Independent Universities Tuition & Mandatory Fees $5,732 $5,520 $1,639 $3,479 $2,806 $17,378 Books & Supplies $1,052 $1,275 $1,117 $783 $920 $988 Room & Board $7,004 $11,028 $5,695 $3,234 $5,872 $5,818 Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Costs are for residents of Texas or the community college district who are single without dependents, living off campus nine months, taking 15 credit hours fall and spring semester. NOTE: Tuition and fee rates for the public universities are listed as they were reported by the institutions and are subject to change. Transportation $1,706 $2,835 $1,799 $2,546 $1,525 $1,180 Personal Expenses $2,000 $3,145 $1,796 $1,848 $1,442 $1,525 Est. Cost of Attendance $17,494 $23,803 $12,046 $11,886 $12,564 $26,896
17 PAYING FOR COLLEGE Families are expected to pay what they can toward their children s education. Most families use a combination of savings, current income, student earnings, and financial aid to pay for college. Financial Aid Financial aid refers to money provided by the government, college, or private sources to help people pay for college. Types of Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships: do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are usually awarded based on grades or some special talent; grants are usually awarded based on financial need. Loans: borrowed funds that must be paid back, usually with interest. Loan Forgiveness Programs: borrowed funds that usually must be repaid through some type of service like working as a teacher, nurse or doctor, or by finishing the degree in a set amount of time. Tuition/Fee Exemptions: programs that lower the tuition and/or fee charges for students attending public colleges and universities. Waivers: programs that allow some out-of-state students to attend Texas public colleges and universities and pay the lower, in-state tuition rate. Work-Study: part-time jobs provided by colleges and universities.
18 APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only form you need to fill out in order to apply for most financial aid, except scholarships.* * If you are unable to use the FAFSA due to citizenship, check with your college to see if they will accept the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). It can be used by certain students to apply for state (not federal) aid. Scholarships are awarded to students for high grades or special talents. You must apply for them separately. You do not have to pay someone to find out about scholarships lots of companies do this for free. You will find a list of companies that help students free-of-charge at the back of this brochure. 1. Complete and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. The earlier your form is received the better your chances of receiving funds. You will need to have income tax information to complete the form, although your income tax return doesn t have to be turned in until April 15. You will find the FAFSA at or you can get a copy from your high school counselor or any college or university financial aid office. It will be processed more quickly if you submit it online (FAFSA on the Web). The website section entitled Before Beginning a FAFSA has a lot of helpful information. 2. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) within four to six weeks of mailing a FAFSA, or within two to four weeks of completing FAFSA on the Web. The SAR will indicate the amount of money the system believes your family can pay for college (your Expected Family Contribution [EFC]) and your eligibility for a Pell Grant. Read the report carefully. If corrections are needed, just follow the directions. Don t stop if the SAR says you do not qualify for a Pell grant. There are many other types of aid you still might get. Complete the application process.
19 3. The SAR is sent to colleges and universities that you list on the FAFSA. The financial aid office at each institution will use this information to calculate your financial need. Financial need is the difference between your EFC and the average cost of attending that institution including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses. Financial Need = Cost of Attendance EFC 4. The financial aid office will figure out which programs you may qualify for and develop a financial aid package. 5. You will receive an award letter explaining the amounts and types of aid that institution will offer you. You may accept part or all of the aid, but you will need to let your college or university know of your decision. Institutions set their own deadlines. Make sure you complete and submit your FAFSA by the college s or university s Priority Application Deadline. If you apply late, some of the aid will already be gone. The school will only be able to offer you what is left over. ABOUT LOANS Families use loans to spread the cost of college over a long period of time the same way they pay for things like homes and cars. Ask the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend about how its loan process works. The loans with the lowest interest are those targeted to financially needy students. In fact, some loans don t have to be paid back if the student earns a bachelor s degree in four years or less, or performs certain work or services after completing college. Other loans are available to students planning on certain careers, like those in medicine and allied health.
20 EXEMPTIONS AND WAIVERS The state uses exemptions to lower some students tuition and fee charges, and waivers to reduce college tuition and fees for out-of-state students. For more information, contact the Admissions Office or the Registrar s Office at the public college or university you plan to attend or go to TAX ADVANTAGES College students and their families can reduce their federal income taxes through the following programs. For more information, contact a tax preparer, look up Publication 970 at or call the IRS at Receive a tax credit of up to $1,500 per year with the Hope Tax Credit or $2,000 per year with the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Deduct up to $3,000 per year for tuition and fees and up to $2,500 per year for interest paid on educational loans. COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN The 80th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3900 in spring 2007 authorizing a new prepaid tuition plan, the Tomorrow Fund II. The Tomorrow Fund II will offer prepaid tuition contracts starting September 1, 2008 and will be a separate program from the existing Texas Guaranteed Tuition Program. If you want to start saving for college expenses sooner, you should consider Tomorrow s College Investment Plan, which is a qualified 529 savings plan offered through the state. For more information, call GRAD ( ) or visit
21 TUITION REBATE FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS If you did not take any college courses before fall 1997 and complete a bachelor s degree with no more than 3 semester credit hours* beyond the requirements of your degree, you may be able to claim a tuition rebate of up to $1,000. You must apply for the tuition rebate before you receive your bachelor s degree. See your business office or financial aid office for an application and more information. * Up to 9 hours of college credit by examination are excluded from this count, as are hours for ROTC courses that are not required for ROTC candidates degrees. THINGS TO REMEMBER 1. The FAFSA is the only application you need to complete for most financial aid. If you re not a US citizen, fill out the FAFSA paper form or the TASFA and take it to the college you plan to attend. You can t get federal aid, but you could receive state financial aid. 2. Colleges and universities usually count scholarships you bring with you to the school when calculating the amount of aid you will receive. 3. Most financial aid is based on need. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the same whatever school you go to, but your financial need will be higher or lower depending upon the cost of the institution you attend. 4. Remember that you need to reapply for financial aid each year. 5. Each college and university sets its own deadlines for applying for financial aid. Contact all institutions you d like to attend to learn about their deadlines. 6. This is the most important investment you can make in your future. Take time to learn about your options before you make any decisions. Financial aid professionals can help you find ways to pay for your education.
22 CONTACT INFORMATION FOR TEXAS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES To find out which institutions offer specific majors, go to the online guide located at by clicking on Degrees at Texas Public Universities or Degrees at Texas Public Community and Technical Colleges. PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES Alvin Community College 3110 Mustang Road Alvin, TX Main: (281) Admissions: (281) Financial Aid: (281) Amarillo College 2011 South Washington Street P.O. Box 447 Amarillo, TX Main: (806) Admissions: (806) Angelina College 3500 South 1st Street/Hwy. 59 South P.O. Box 1768 Lufkin, TX Main: (936) Admissions: (936) Financial Aid: (936) Angelo State University 2601 West Avenue N. ASU Station #11014 San Angelo, TX Main: (325) Admissions: (325) Financial Aid: (325) Austin Community College 5930 Middle Fiskville Road Austin, TX Main: (512) Admissions: (512) Financial Aid: (512) Blinn College 902 College Avenue Brenham, TX Main: (979) Admissions: (979) Financial Aid: (979) Brazosport College 500 College Drive Lake Jackson, TX Main: (979) Admissions: (979) Financial Aid: (979) Brookhaven College (Dallas County Community College District) 3939 Valley View Lane Dallas, TX Main: (972) Admissions: (972) Financial Aid: (972) Cedar Valley College (Dallas County Community College District) 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, TX Main: (972) Admissions: (972) Financial Aid: (972) Central Texas College 6200 West Central Texas Express Way P.O. Box 1800 Killeen, TX Main: (254) Admissions: (254) Financial Aid: (254) Cisco Junior College 101 College Heights Cisco, TX Main: (254) Clarendon College 1122 College Drive P.O. Box 968 Clarendon, TX Main: (806) Financial Aid: (806) Coastal Bend College 3800 Charco Road Beeville, TX Main: (361) Admissions: (361) Financial Aid: (361) College of the Mainland 1200 Amburn Road Texas City, TX Main: (409) Admissions: (409) x 3 Financial Aid: (409) x 4 Collin County Community College 2800 East Spring Creek Parkway Plano, TX Main: (972) Admissions: (972) Financial Aid: (972) Cy-Fair College (North Harris Montgomery Community College District) 9191 Barker Cypress Road Cypress, TX Main: (281) Del Mar College 101 Baldwin Boulevard Corpus Christi, TX Main: (361) Admissions: (361) Financial Aid: (361) Eastfield College (Dallas County Community College District) 3737 Motley Drive Mesquite, TX Main: (972) Admissions: (972) Financial Aid: (972)
23 El Centro College (Dallas County Community College District) 801 Main Street Dallas, TX Main: (214) Admissions: (214) Financial Aid: (214) /2097 El Paso Community College 919 Hunter Drive P.O. Box El Paso, TX Main: (915) Admissions: (915) Financial Aid: (915) Frank Phillips College 1301 W Roosevelt P.O. Box 5118 Borger, TX Main: (806) Admission: (806) Financial Aid: (806) Galveston College 4015 Avenue Q Galveston, TX Main: (409) Admission: (409) Financial Aid: (409) Grayson County College 6101 Highway 691 Denison Fall 2005 Enrollment: 3,715 Main: (903) Financial Aid: (903) Hill College 112 Lamar Drive Hillsboro, TX P.O. Box 619 Main: (254) Admissions: (254) ext. 239 Financial Aid: (254) ext. 214 Houston Community College System 3100 Main at Elgin P.O. Box Houston, TX Main: (713) Student Services: (713) Howard College 1001 Birdwell Lane Big Spring, TX Main: (866) Admissions: (915) Financial Aid: (915) Kilgore College 1100 Broadway Kilgore, TX Main: (903) Admissions: (903) Financial Aid: 903) Kingwood College (North Harris Montgomery Community College District) Kingwood Drive Humble, TX Main: (800) Admissions: (281) Financial Aid: (281) Lamar Institute of Technology 855 E Lavaca Street P.O. Box Beaumont, TX Main: (409) Admissions: (409) Financial Aid: (409) Lamar State College at Orange 410 Front Street Orange, TX Main: (409) Admissions: (409) Financial Aid: (409) Lamar State College at Port Arthur 1500 Procter Street P.O. Box 310 Port Arthur, TX Main: (409) Admissions: (409) Financial Aid: (409) Lamar University 4400 MLK Boulevard P.O. Box Beaumont, TX Main: (409) Admissions: (409) Financial Aid: (409) Laredo Community College West End Washington Street Laredo, TX Main: (956) Admissions: (956) Financial Aid: (956) Lee College 511 South Whiting Street Baytown, TX, P.O. Box 818, Main: (281) Admissions: (281) Financial Aid: (281) McLennan Community College 1400 College Drive Waco, TX Main: (254) Admissions: (254) Midland College 3600 North Garfield Midland, TX Main: (432) Admissions: (432) Financial Aid: (432) Midwestern State University 3410 Taft Boulevard Wichita Falls, TX Main: (940) Admissions: (800) Financial Aid: (940) Montgomery College (North Harris Montgomery Community College District) 3200 College Park Drive Conroe, TX Main: (936) Admissions: (936) Mountain View College (Dallas County Community College District) 4849 West Illinois Avenue Dallas, TX Main: (214) Admissions: (214) Financial Aid: (214)