We’re excited to introduce the Texas First Program, 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 Program is designed to keep Texas’ best and brightest on a direct track to postsecondary education here in our great state. Texas’ top students can accelerate their postsecondary path and earn up to a year in scholarship dollars to attend any Texas public institution of higher education, including colleges, universities, and technical colleges.
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 college, university, or technical college. Students who graduate one semester early receive a one-semester scholarship to a participating institution of higher education. 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. Students should ask their counselor if their grade point average at graduation qualifies them 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 apply only at the Texas public institution of higher education where they have been admitted.
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.
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 and rules:
NOTE: Before September 1, 2023, the Texas First Scholarship was only applicable at 10 Texas public universities. However, effective September 1, 2023, the number of institutions of higher education eligible to award the Texas First Scholarship to eligible Texas First Diploma graduates expanded from 10 universities to all Texas public institutions of higher education, including colleges, universities, and technical colleges (Senate Bill 2294, 88th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). Please see your high school counselor for information regarding eligibility requirements to graduate early under the Texas First Program and receive a scholarship up to one year upon admission to any eligible Texas public institution of higher education, per Texas Education Code, Section 61.003.
Counselors: Follow this link to complete information and verify your student’s eligibility for the Texas First Diploma: Texas First Diploma Eligibility Confirmation Form.