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TASFA Application Process

The TASFA Application Process

In 2001 with House Bill (HB)1403, and then again in 2005 with Senate Bill (SB)1528, the Texas State Legislature signed into law a bill that allowed certain categories of individuals in the state of Texas to meet state requirements for residency. 

Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 54, Subchapter B allows all persons whether international, US Citizens or Permanent Residents, to establish an independent claim to residency based on graduation from high school or the completion of its equivalent after residing in the state for at least 36 months.

  • For example, in the past, students born and raised in Texas but whose parents moved out of state before they had enrolled in college were statutorily classified as nonresidents, whether they had ever lived outside the state or not. 

  • Students raised by grand-parents or other family members who had never gone to court to acquire legal custody were considered residents of the state in which their biological parents lived, whether or not those parents were in any way involved in their upbringing. 

The new provisions of TEC 54.052(a)(3) enable these students, and all other students who graduate from high school in Texas under the prescribed conditions*, to be classified as residents and allow them to enroll while paying the resident tuition rate. It is important to note these students are not nonresidents who are getting to pay the resident rate due to a waiver of nonresident tuition. They are classified as bone fide residents under current statutes.

To qualify under these laws, a student must meet the following four provisions: 

  • Graduate from a public or private high school, or receive a GED, in Texas, 
  • Reside in Texas for at least 3 years leading up to high school graduation or receiving a GED, 
  • Reside in Texas for the 12 months leading up to the semester the student is enrolling in college, and 
  • Provide the institution of higher education an affidavit stating the student will file an application to become a U.S. permanent resident as soon as he/she is eligible to do so 

Applying for Aid 

Students who believe they meet the requirements of SB 1528 should fill out the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) rather than the federal FAFSA form. 

Currently, the TASFA application is only available in paper format, though the state is working on creating an electronic version. 

The TASFA is formatted much like the FAFSA form, with almost identical questions and eligibility requirements. 

Admissions 

Because SB 1528 is a residency issue and not a citizenship issue, students must talk to the Admissions Office about their possible status. Admissions, and not Financial Aid, will determine eligibility for this status.

However, students will submit the TASFA application and accompanying documents to the Financial Aid Office for processing.

Eligibility Requirements 

As noted previously, TASFA students must generally meet the same eligibility requirements that a FAFSA student does with the exception of having an eligible citizenship and a social security number. 

To review, the following eligibility requirements must still be met: 

  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you were born a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25); 
  • May not have a recent drug-related conviction 
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program; 
  • Must have a HS Diploma or GED 
  • Once in school, must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as defined by the school 

In addition, TASFA students are required by state law to sign a statement saying they will work on getting their permanent resident status as soon as possible.

Awarding 

Eligible students are awarded from the Texas Public Education Grant fund an amount of $3,310 for the year (half for fall and half for spring), or less if their “need” is less. 

The award amount is prorated for actual enrollment on census day, and students do not have to be attending a specific number of hours to be awarded. 

Students can charge their books and supplies against the amount like other financial aid students (provided there is money available after covering tuition and fees). 

Any remaining credit balance after paying tuition, fees and books is refunded to the student during the normal financial aid disbursement run. 

TASFA students are also eligible for the following state aid: 

  • Texas Equalization Grant (TEG) 
  • TEXAS Grant (4 year universities only) 
  • Texas College Work-Study 
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
  • State exemption programs 
  • College Access Loan (CAL) 

The Application                 

Dependent students click here for the TASFA checklist and application.

Independent students click here for the TASFA checklist and application.

Note: The Department of Education, in response to the ongoing economic, social and physical impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are waiving the verification requirements for students applying for financial aid for the 201-2022 academic year.

This means that if submit the TASFA application, you do not need to submit the verification worksheet or a tax return or W-2’s with the application.

However, you must still provide income information on the application form. Please do not leave boxes blank. Enter an amount or -0- if the amount is zero. The school may ask for documentation if you do not provide enough information on the application form.

In addition, you still must complete and/or submit the other documents listed on the checklist such as the SB1528 Statement of Intent.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at FinancialAid@collin.edu 

 

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