The Texas First Diploma

We’re excited to introduce the Texas First Diploma, a program to recognize high-achieving students. Eligible students can graduate early with the Distinguished Level of Achievement and receive a scholarship.

The Texas First Diploma is designed to keep Texas’ best and brightest on a direct track to a postsecondary pathway here in our great state. Texas’ top students can accelerate their path to college and earn up to a year in scholarship dollars to attend select Texas institutions. Participating institutions include:

Texas A&M University
Texas State University
Texas Tech University
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Dallas
The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at San Antonio
University of Houston
University of North Texas

Download program overview for students and families

Download program overview in Spanish

Program Details

Students who graduate early and earn a Texas First Diploma receive a scholarship at participating institutions.

Students who graduate two or more semesters before their class receive a two-semester scholarship, equivalent to the amount of the TEXAS grant, to a participating university. Students who graduate one semester early receive a one-semester scholarship to a participating university. Students may also be eligible for additional financial aid at most of these institutions.

The Texas First Diploma does not guarantee automatic admission for students. A student should consult their counselor for guidance on whether the student’s grade point average at graduation qualifies the student for automatic admission under the state’s top 10 percent law.

Students who graduate early with a Texas First Diploma may apply to any college or university they choose. However, the scholarship will only apply toward the participating universities listed above.

The scholarship offer will expire at the end of the first academic year following a student’s graduation, so students are encouraged to attend college directly after high school.

Student Eligibility

Eligible students must demonstrate college readiness in academics and attitude. Eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Texas residency
  • FAFSA or TASFA completion
  • At least 22 high school credits
  • Final GPA equivalent to 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Overall score in at least the 80th percentile on one or more of the following assessments: ACT, SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, TSIA/TSIA2, or GED; or, alternatively, a GPA in the top 10 percent of the student’s class
  • Completion of the STAAR EOC exams in English I or II, Algebra I, and Biology, or completion of eligible substitute assessments
  • Demonstration of mastery in each subject area of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and a language other than English

Students should contact their counselor to learn more about this program and verify their eligibility.

View full eligibility requirements (PDF)