The purpose of this program is to provide tuition assistance to eligible employed and volunteer firefighters in the state of Texas enrolled in college-level fire science courses.
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.
Note: The Texas Commission on Fire Protection has defined “fire science” as a course of study primarily related to fire service, emergency medicine, emergency management, or public administration.
To qualify for this exemption, the applicant must:
- Be a paid firefighter employed by a political subdivision of the state of Texas; or
- Be a volunteer firefighter (for at least one year) who is an active member of an organized volunteer fire department that participates in the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System, or a retirement system established under the Texas Local Fire Fighters Retirement Act and who holds one of these two credentials:
- an Accredited Advanced level of certification under the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas volunteer certification program
- a Phase V (Firefighter II) certification under the Texas Commission on Fire Protection’s voluntary certification program; and
- Be enrolled in at least one accredited fire science course; and
- Have filed a selective service statement of registration status.
To continue receiving an exemption after initially being awarded, the student must:
- Meet all program eligibility requirements;
- Meet the institution’s financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirement;
- Not have attempted an excessive number of semester credit hours as an undergraduate student (see Texas Education Code, Section 54.014).
Note: A student who does not meet the grade point average (GPA) requirement to satisfy the institution's SAP or excessive hour restriction may qualify for a hardship exception; contact your institution for more information.
Texas public colleges and universities that offer accredited fire science programs.
This award exempts an eligible person from the payment of tuition and laboratory fees for specific fire science courses.
- Exemption from tuition 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).
- Your institution will determine the documentation you must submit to confirm proof of eligibility for this exemption.
- Contact your Texas public college or university if you have questions.
- Program statute—Texas Education Code, Section 54.353
- Clarifying rules—19 TAC, Ch. 21, Subchapter Z: §21.786 - §21.792
- Clarifying opinion—Opinion GA-0397 from the Attorney General of Texas
- General questions? Call 888-311-8881
- Contact Us!
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.