TASFA/Senate Bill 1528

(Formerly House Bill 1403)

Certain unauthorized immigrants are eligible to enroll in Texas public colleges and pay in-state tuition. In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that states that these students may be eligible for state grants. Eligible students MUST meet certain criteria provided in the legislation to be considered for Senate Bill 1528 status.

Students who are not U.S. Citizens, U.S. legal permanent residents, or eligible noncitizens do not qualify for federal financial assistance to pay for college.

Under HB 1403/SB1528 students are eligible to receive a variety of forms of state financial aid, but first must fill out the University of Houston's Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).

The application is only available in paper form. Students and/or their parents provide important information about their family's income and expenses every year. Colleges will use this application to determine how much state financial aid the student is eligible for.

Before you Apply

To be eligible to apply for state financial aid you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must not be eligible to apply for federal aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate
  • Be classified as a Texas resident (Note that a nonresident who pays a resident rate due to a tuition waiver is not a resident for the purpose of this application)
  • Be enrolled for a minimum of nine hours in a degree-seeking program
  • Be registered with the Selective Service if required (males only)
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Submit a SB 1528 Residency Affidavit Form to the Office of Registration and Academic Records. *(Please note: This form is for admitted students only. If you have not graduated high school, your submitted form will stay in pending status unitl your final high school transcript is received by the Admissions Office. We encourage you to fill out the TASFA even if your Residency Affidavit is pending.

Once you have determined that you are eligible, you are ready to begin the six steps to apply for state financial aid.

Steps for State Applicants

Step 1: File Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you (and your spouse) and/or your parents to file a tax return if either you (or your spouse) and/or your parents meet the income thresholds established annually by the IRS. For more information regarding income thresholds, go to www.irs.gov. Request an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN): Individuals who do not have a Social Security Number can apply for an ITIN using a W-7 Tax Form. For more information, go to www.irs.gov.

Step 2: Register with the Selective Service (males only)
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register with the Selective Service. You can obtain a registration form at your local post office.

Step 3: Complete your TASFA
Download and print the University of Houston's TASFA Form and the TASFA Checklist. Once you have completed and signed the forms, submit them to our office along with any required documentation. Do not leave any blanks. Enter "N/A" if a question does not apply to you.

  • Attach a copy of proof of registration with Selective Service (males only). You may attach a copy of the registration acknowledgement card.
  • Attach a copy of 2013 income tax transcript(s). If you (and your spouse) and/or your parents are required to file taxes, we will not process your TASFA until you provide a copy of all tax transcripts(s). If income was earned but a tax return was not submitted, please attach all 2013 W-2s. If income was earned but no 2013 W-2s were received, please complete the Student/Spouse Income Verification Form and/or Parent Income Verification Form.
  • Order a free copy of tax return transcript. To order one, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-908-9946.
  • You must complete and submit the TASFA to our office by the priority deadline of March 15, 2014 to receive the maximum consideration for limited financial aid resources.

Step 4: Complete Your File if additional documentation is required
This program is awarded according to availability of funds. Applicants are awarded in order that they submit and/or complete their applications.

While processing your TASFA, additional documentation may be requested to complete your application. You will be notified via email if your file is incomplete. Be sure you monitor your To-Do List online in your myUH self-service account. The priority deadline to submit all documents is April 1, 2014.

If you are required to submit additional documents that are not included in your initial application submission, your completion date will be the date on which you submitted the last required document.

For example: Scott submits his TASFA with his parents' 2013 tax return transcript and all other required documents in March, but does not submit a copy of his Selective Service Registration Card until June. In this example, he would not be considered complete until June, at which time his file would be updated and submitted for review, but only after submitting all necessary documents.

Step 5: Check Your Status
In order to be eligible for state assistance, you MUST be a fully admitted, degree-seeking student. Check your status online in your myUH self-service account.

Step 6: Accept Your Awards
We will notify you via email when you have been awarded financial aid. Accept or decline your state financial award(s) in your myUH self-service account. Please refer to our Disbursement of Aid website for more information.

For help filling out your TASFA form:

The University of Houston strives to make the TASFA process as straightforward as possible, but some students have unique situations that they need help with. If you still have questions, our financial aid advisors are available to answer your questions at the Welcome Center or by phone at 713-743-1010, option 5.

Types of State Aid

Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) - This program, administered by the state of Texas, provides assistance to students with financial need who are seeking a first Bachelor's degree, a graduate degree, or a professional degree. Texas residents and nonresidents who meet the priority deadline of April 1 are eligible. This form of aid requires an enrollment minimum of nine credit hours (undergraduates) and seven credit hours (graduates) each semester through the 12th class day (Official Reporting Day).

Towards Excellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) - Students who complete the Recommended High School Program or Distinguished Achievement Program in an accredited Texas high school and meet certain eligibility requirements are automatically considered for this state-sponsored program. For additional eligibility requirements please click here. This requires a minimum enrollment of nine credit hours (undergraduates) and seven credit hours (graduates) each semester through the 12th class day (Official Reporting Day).

Forms

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the requirements to complete the TASFA process?
To use this application, you must be considered a Texas resident and your classification as a Texas resident must not be due to a waiver such as an in-state scholarship or an assistantship.

Steps to Complete the TASFA process:

  • Complete the TASFA form
  • File residency affidavit with Office of Registration and Academic Records regarding SB 1528. The deadline for this is the close of business day on the 12th day of class for the Fall 2014 term
  • Males should register with the selective service and attach a copy of the proof of registration
  • Attach copies of 2013 tax returns and tax transcripts
  • If you and/or your parents did not have to file a federal income tax return, but earned wages which were paid in cash, report those cash earnings on item 33 of the TASFA.

I am not yet a U.S. permanent resident, but I do have a social security card or an employment authorization card. Can I fill out the FAFSA?
You are not able to fill out a FAFSA until you become a permanent resident or are an eligible noncitizen with an Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) showing one of the following:

  • Refugee
  • Asylum granted,
  • Parolee (for a minimum of one year), or
  • Cuban-Haitian entrant

If none of these apply to you but you are classified as a Texas resident, you may be eligible to pay the Texas in-state tuition rate. If you meet all the other requirements for the TASFA, you may apply for the TASFA application instead of the FAFSA. Students receiving in-state tuition through a waiver such as a competitive scholarship or an assistantship are not eligible to use the TASFA.

What is the official priority deadline to submit my TASFA and supporting documents?
Students are encouraged to submit their TASFA and all required documents by March 15 to be considered for maximum funding. Students who miss the priority deadline for initial submission may have their application process delayed or denied, and funding will be awarded by the order of the date of TASFA completion.

How much aid can I receive if I am approved for my application?
Approved TASFA application students can be awarded up to $3,000 between Fall and Spring semesters, which is $1,500 each semester. There are no additional funds set aside for summer TASFA aid. You must maintain at least a nine hour enrollment to be eligible for the grant disbursement.

I submitted the TASFA late or did not get awarded enough money from my TASFA application. How else can I receive additional funding?
Students with state residency may apply for a College Access Loan (CAL) with the state coordinating board. Students will need a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen to complete the process. For more information, please click here.

I have TASFA documents requested on my to-do list. When is the deadline? I see that there is a date listed.
Students should complete the application process as soon as possible to be considered for maximum funding, especially before that date. Any delays in submitting the verification items that are requested will result in delays in being awarded, as TASFA funding is limited.

I am a first time in college Texas resident classified as a non-Texas resident. What is the process to update my residency?
Students should submit a complete SB 1528 Affidavit Form to the Office of Registration and Academic Records. Forms are located in the UH website in the Office of Admissions forms section.

How often do I need to submit my TASFA?
The TASFA should be submitted every academic year you plan to apply for aid by the Spring deadline prior to the start of the academic year. The form for the upcoming year becomes available each Spring on the UH Financial Aid forms page.

I am a male and am having difficulty registering for selective service online. What are my options?
You may be able to complete a paper version of the selective service registration form. This form is available at most post offices; please call your local office regarding form availability at that location. Complete this registration form and mail it to the Selective Service System office.

If you are male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register with Selective Service in order to qualify for any type of state aid (regardless of residency status). Noncitizens not required to register include men who are in the U.S. on student or visitor visas, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission and their families. Almost all other male noncitizens are required to register, including undocumented residents, legal permanent residents, and refugees.