Public colleges in Texas are among many colleges across the country offering free tuition programs for students from low-income and middle-income families. As you review the list below, keep in mind some colleges might not publicize or have a formal “free tuition” program. However, they might still offer very generous need-based financial aid to families from low, middle and, in some cases, even high-income families.
Here is a list of 12 free tuition programs in Texas:
1. Dallas County Community College District
Students must apply to participate in the Dallas County Promise program which covers college tuition at partner colleges not met by other federal, state and institutional grants and scholarships (gift aid). The program is funded through Dallas Community College District Foundation and includes a Success Coach component. The partner colleges include Dallas County Community Colleges, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Midwestern State University, and Southern Methodist University.
Students are able to enter or transfer to most of the partner colleges tuition-free based on income eligibility (family income of $50,000 or less). For more information, please visit Dallas County Promise.
– Open to all graduating high school students from 57 participating Promise High Schools in Dallas County.
– Application required. High school seniors must apply to participate in this program around the same time they are applying to college. Applications open October 1, 2019 and must be submitted by February 7, 2020 (based on 2019 information).
– Students who graduate high school with a high school diploma or an Associates Degree (collegiate high school graduates) can apply to attend one of the partner colleges.
2. Texas A&M University – College Station
Aggie Assurance: This program covers tuition costs and is subject to availability.
– Income below $60,000: Grants and Scholarships to meet the tuition costs. – – The program does not cover room and board and fees.
– Students must be eligible for the federal Pell Grant.
3. Texas Tech University
Red Raider Guarantee: This plan guarantees tuition and mandatory fees (based on 30 credit hours per academic school year) to new entering freshmen and transfer students with an Associate’s degree.
– Family adjusted gross income of $40,000 or below
– Must be enrolled full time (12 hours or more each semester – Fall/Spring only).
– Student must be Texas resident and eligible for the federal Pell Grant.
4. University of Houston
Cougar Promise: Guaranteed free tuition for new freshmen starting in Fall 2019.
– Family adjusted gross income up to $50,000: Covers full tuition.
– Students must complete the FAFSA, list the University of Houston and be eligible for the Pell Grant.
5. University of Texas at Dallas
Tuition Promise: The program is available for first-time students.
– With a family income of $25,000 or less: Covers full tuition.
– Students must qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
6. University of Texas at Austin
Texas Advance Commitment: Beginning in Fall 2020, the university will offer free tuition to students with household income of $65,000 or less.
– Family income up to $65,000: Covers full tuition
– Family income up to $125,00: tuition support
– Be a Texas resident and Pell Grant eligible
– Submit a FAFSA and TASFA
– Have demonstrated financial need
7. Lamar University
Lamar Promise: This free tuition program is available to entering freshman.
– Income of $25,000 or less Be eligible for full Pell Grant
– Must be a dependent student (per FAFSA) and eligible or Texas in-state tuition
– Must complete FAFSA or TASFA Available for up to four years
8. Stephen F. Austin University
Purple Promise Guarantee Program: This free tuition program is a “last-dollar” program that pays any tuition costs not covered by other grants and scholarships.
– Adjusted Gross Income of $30,000 or less based on info provided in FAFSA
– Eligible for Federal Pell Grant
– Texas resident
9. Sam Houston State University
Bearkat Promise: Covers any mandatory tuition and fees not covered by other grants and scholarships.
– Adjusted Gross Income of $25,000 or less
– Eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant
– Texas resident
10. Angelo State University
Blue & Gold Guarantee: The program is designed to help families afford college and is considered a “last-dollar” scholarship.
– Family income of $40,000 or less
– Must submit the FAFSA and be Pell Grant eligible
– Be a Texas resident
11. Texas A&M University-Commerce
A&M-Commerce Pledge Program: The program will cover any tuition balance not covered by other scholarships or grants.
– AGI of $50,000 or less
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 0 and $5,576
– Reserved for students entering as freshman
12. Midwestern State University-Texas
Mustang’s Guarantee Program: Eligible new students who have never earned a Bachelor’s degree can take advantage of this program. This program is a “last-dollar” scholarship and meets tuition costs not covered by other grants and scholarships.
– AGI of $50,000 or less
– Students must be Texas residents and Pell Grant eligible
– Must earn at least 12 hours at the end of fall and spring semesters
Do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office at the college you are interested in attending to learn more about any free tuition program they might have.