Educational Aide Exemption

Program Purpose

*NEW* The General Appropriations Act for the 2016-2017 Biennium has appropriated $1.5 million for the Educational Aide (Ed Aide) program. Senate Bill 215 passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, directs the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to employ the negotiated rulemaking process described in Chapter 2008 of the Texas Government Code when adopting rules relating to financial aid allocation methodologies. Based on the budgeted appropriation, THECB will convene a Negotiated Rule Making (NRM) committee and draft allocation rules for Ed Aide in fall 2015 or early spring 2016.  More information pertaining to program funding and the application process will be shared as new information becomes available. 

Please Note: If you are a current student interested in the applying for the Educational Aide Exemption Program please contact your school’s financial aid office to determine if this program is currently being offered on campus through institution funds. 

NOTICE: Funding for the program ended on August 31, 2011. However, public institutions of higher education may still grant the tuition and fees exemption at their own expense, pursuant to the eligibility requirements of Texas Education Code (TEC) 54.363.


Eligibility award letters:

Recipients of an Educational Aide Exemption (EAE) are eligible for an exemption from student teaching. An eligibility award letter must be submitted to the Teacher Education Certification Department at the institution of higher education for consideration and approval. To obtain a copy of your eligibility award letter, contact:

  • The institution's financial aid office - for first awards beginning fall 2009 and after, or
  • The Coordinating Board - for first awards prior to fall 2009.

To address its growing need for more qualified teachers, the State of Texas created a program that covers tuition and some fees for education aides who enroll in college to become certified Texas teachers. The exemption may only be used at public colleges or universities in Texas.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for an Education Aide Exemption (EAE), you must:

Be a Texas resident.

Have applied for financial aid to the college you plan to attend, including filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or by qualifying on the basis of adjusted gross income (AGI). The institution will determine whether or not the AGI method will be accepted.

AGI Limits
Effective Sep 1, 2014
Effective Sep 1, 2015
Single, independent student
$34,446 or less
$34,446 or less
Married independent student
$68,896 or less
$68,896 or less
Dependent student
$68,896 or less including student and family AGI
$68,896 or less including student and family AGI

Have been employed as a full-time educational aide for at least one of the past five school years, or as a substitute teacher for 180 days of the past five school years preceding the term or semester for which the student is awarded his or her initial exemption.

Be employed in some capacity by a school district in Texas during the full term for which the student receives the award unless granted a hardship waiver as described in Section 21.1089 of program rules which can be accessed through the link given below.

Enroll in courses leading to teacher certification.

Register for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement.

Meet academic requirements established by the college or university.

The school district where you are employed and the financial aid office at your school determine your eligibility for this program.

New Requirements Fall, 2014

Senate Bill 1210 (83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session) adds a Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards through this program. These changes go into effect in fall, 2014. Contact your institution for more information.

Application Process

Complete the admissions and financial aid process at your college, including the FAFSA.

Obtain an EAE application from your college or university. Please read the EAE instructions (included as a separate worksheet within the application) before completing the application.

Complete Part I of the EAE Application and give it to a school or school district official.

The official completes Part II of the EAE application and sends it to the Director of Financial Aid of the college you will attend.

The Financial Aid Office completes Part III, selects recipients, and announces awards for the fall term. 

Please check with your college or university for EAE program application deadlines.

Additional Information

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