Education Benefits for Certain Survivors of Individuals in Specific Public Servant Positions

Program Purpose

the purpose of this program is to provide higher education benefits to the spouse and children of individuals in specific public servant positions who were killed in the line of duty.

NOTE: This webpage is intended to provide basic information for the public by highlighting requirements that appear in the Texas Education Code (TEC) and Texas Administrative Code (TAC). When reviewing eligibility requirements this exemption program, you should always refer to the relevant statutes and rules. The information on this webpage is to be used solely as a resource and does not override the statute or rules for this exemption program. It is not intended as, and does not constitute, legal advice.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this exemption, the applicant must:

  • Be an eligible surviving spouse or surviving child of certain individuals killed in the line of duty on or after Sept. 1, 2000;
    • While there is no age or time limit in which to apply, children must have been younger than *25 years of age on the date of death to qualify;

    *Texas Education Code 54.354 was recently modified by House Bill 133 during the 87th Special Legislative Session. This bill, which was signed into law on October 25, 2021, changed the program’s age restriction for eligible children. The statute was updated from “younger than 18 years of age” to “younger than 25 years of age” on the date of death. This change will go into effect for tuition and fee charges in Spring 2022 and forward and is not retroactive.

  • Be enrolled full-time as an undergraduate student in a Texas public college or university;
  • Have filed a selective service statement of registration status and proof of status with their institution (not applicable if attending a public community college).

Note: If the individual died in the line of duty prior to Sept.1, 2000, the child may be eligible for the Children of Disabled or Deceased Firefighters or Law Enforcement Officers program.

To continue receiving an exemption after initially being awarded, the student must:

  • Meet all program eligibility requirements;
  • Meet the institution’s financial aid GPA requirement;
  • Not have attempted an excessive number of semester credit hours as an undergraduate student (see Texas Education Code, Section 54.014).
  • Not have received a bachelor’s degree;
  • Not have attempted more than 200 semester credit hours while receiving the exemption.
  • Note: A student who does not meet the GPA requirement or excessive hour restriction may qualify for a hardship exception; contact your institution for more information.

    Eligible Institutions

    All Texas public colleges and universities are required to participate in this program.

    Award Amount

    • Exemption from tuition, fees, and textbooks is only for courses in which the institution receives formula funding (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its costs).
    • If a student qualifies to live in institutional housing, the cost of food and housing is exempted.
    • Application Process

      Contact your institution if you are interested in this exemption program. See the Office of the Registrar, the Admissions Office, or the Student Financial Aid Office.

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