SAN MARCOS — Texas State University has expanded the tuition-free Bobcat Promise program to give more Texas students the chance to attend the university despite the growing financial uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bobcat Promise is designed to increase access for Texas students with a family adjusted gross income (AGI) that does not exceed $50,000 annually. Previously, the upper AGI limit was set at $35,000.
“Expanding the Bobcat Promise program is a critical step we can take to ease the stress and financial burden on Texas families during this difficult time,” said Texas State President Denise M. Trauth. “It’s not only good for these students and their families but for the workforce of our great state, which needs the innovation, brilliance, and determination of our Bobcat graduates.”
The program guarantees free tuition and mandatory fees for 15 credit hours per semester to new entering freshmen who have submitted a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and were admitted to Texas State by March 15, 2020.
The university estimates 5,600 first-time freshmen who have been admitted will qualify for the Bobcat Promise in fall 2020.
“Nearly half of our students are first-generation college students, and our demographics closely mirror the state of Texas,” President Trauth said. “That is a reflection of our commitment to educating the next generation of leaders in Texas and providing a quality education, regardless of a student’s financial resources.”
Students who qualify are eligible for up to eight continuous long semesters (fall and spring).
Under the Bobcat Promise, tuition and mandatory fees will be paid (up to a student’s demonstrated need) through a combination of federal, state, and institutional funds. Annual tuition and fees for fall 2020-21 are estimated at $11,540, for a four-year total of $46,160.
“The Bobcat Promise program promotes access and opportunity to students to achieve success and realize their higher educational goals at Texas State, regardless of financial barriers,” said Stephanie Lopez, assistant director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
To be eligible for the Bobcat Promise, students must:
- Be an entering first-time freshman.
- Be a Texas resident
- Have a family AGI of $50,000 or less
- Admitted to Texas State on or before March 15, 2020
- Be enrolled full-time and complete at least 15 credit hours each semester (fall and spring)
- Apply and be accepted for admission, as well as have submitted a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), no later than March 15 prior to the upcoming academic year
- Have financial need as demonstrated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Students who meet the eligibility criteria are identified by the Texas State Financial Aid and Scholarships office. For renewal, students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 Texas State GPA and complete at least 15 credit hours per semester in the previous academic year.
They must also meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, which are applied to all federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs.
In addition, students must have submitted a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15 prior to the upcoming academic year, continue to have a family adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less, and have financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA.