What’s the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA)?
The Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) collects financial information to determine eligibility for financial aid programs offered by the state of Texas for eligible state residents who don’t meet the filing requirements for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
If you’re a Texas resident needing college aid and are unable to meet the FAFSA® filing requirements, filing your TASFA could be a great move.
Continue reading as we break down what the TASFA is and who’s eligible.
What’s the TASFA, and how’s it different from the FAFSA®?
The TASFA and FAFSA® are applications that help students qualify for financial aid for college based on their financial need. Both of the applications are free.
That being said, there are some significant differences between the two programs.
FAFSA® is the application for financial aid programs administered by the federal government. If you’re a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen, you may qualify for funding after filing the FAFSA®, including federal grants, federal student loans, and work-study programs. Many colleges and other institutions also use information students provide on the FAFSA® to determine their eligibility for financial aid from that college or institution — like grants and scholarships.
TASFA, on the other hand, is the application for the state-based financial aid program offered in Texas to eligible residents who don’t meet the filing requirements for FAFSA®. Under Texas House Bill 1403, non-immigrant and undocumented students who don’t qualify for federal aid and who meet Texas Residency Rules and are able to submit the required documentation may qualify for state aid via the TASFA.
It’s not recommended that students file both the FAFSA® and the TASFA. FAFSA® covers both federal and state aid, so if students file FAFSA®, they don’t also have to file TAFSA.
As a first step, students should determine if they meet the requirements to file the FAFSA®. If they don’t, it’s recommended that they file the TASFA if they meet those eligibility requirements.
Not all colleges in Texas offer TASFA funds, so you should contact your financial aid office to see if these funds would even be available if you’re eligible otherwise.
Who’s eligible for TASFA?
To be eligible for TASFA, you must be a Texas resident who isn’t eligible for federal financial aid. Approved applicants must maintain at least a nine-hour enrollment to maintain eligibility.
You qualify as a Texas resident if you:
- Graduated from a Texas high school or received your GED in the state
- Lived in the state for three years before graduating from high school or receiving a GED
- Either lived or will have lived in Texas for a full year prior to the census date of the semester in which you’re enrolled in college
- Have applied or plan to apply to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity
Speak to your financial aid advisor for more information about requirements and qualifications.
When does TASFA Open?
The TASFA usually opens on October 1 each year, though the 2024-25 application opened in December 2023. The priority deadline will be March 15 for the 2024-25 school year, though in subsequent years, the deadline will likely be in January.
When you’re ready to apply, you should expect to:
- Complete the TASFA form
- File a Residency Affidavit with your college or university
- Upload copies of your taxes (provide the accurate year asked for on the application)
- Report wages (if you don’t have tax returns)
How much aid can you get after filing TASFA?
Approved TASFA students may be awarded up to $3,000 each semester. There’s no financial aid allotted for the summer semester. In total, eligible students may receive up to $6,000 in funding each school year from the state of Texas.
If you meet the filing requirements for TASFA but not FAFSA®, you should plan to complete and submit your application by the deadline. Completing the application may help you access financial aid for your education. Contact your college’s financial aid office if you have questions about your eligibility or need assistance filling out the application.