Exemptions and Waivers

Texas offers various programs that exempt or waive tuition, fees, and other expenses related to attending public colleges and universities. All exemption and waiver programs are authorized by the Texas Legislature and target specific populations. While many programs are mandated for all public institutions to implement, some programs are optional, and implementation is left to the discretion of the governing board at the institution.

All exemption or waiver programs, whether mandatory or optional, apply only to courses for which an institution can receive formula funding.

Formula Funding: The method used to allocate appropriate sources of funds among institutions of higher education. Formula-funded courses are those that do not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover their costs.


Exemptions permit certain groups of Texas residents or nonresidents to enroll in Texas public institutions of higher education and pay a reduced amount (in some cases zero) of tuition or fees. 

Listed below are the exemption programs available through the state of Texas: 

  • Bordering States
  • Children of Disabled Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers
  • Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff
  • Clinical Preceptors and Their Children
  • Combat Exemption for Children of Military Service Members
  • Concurrent Enrollment Waiver
  • Education Benefits for Certain Survivors of Individuals in Specific Public Servant Positions
  • Educational Aide Exemption
  • Fee Proration for Students Enrolled in Shorter than Average Terms
  • Firefighters Enrolled in Fire Science Courses
  • Good Neighbor Program (Students from Other Nations of the American/Western Hemisphere)
  • Hazlewood Exemption (for Texas Veterans)
  • Highest Ranking High School Graduate
  • Irrelevant Fees
  • Military: Children of U.S. Military who are Missing in Action or Prisoners of War (MIA/POWs)
  • Military: Orphans of Texas Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard
  • Military: Radiological Science Students of Midwestern State University
  • Military: Texas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program
  • Nonresidents Enrolled in Texas Public Universities Located within 100 Miles of the Texas Border
  • Out-of-District Fees for Certain Students Living Outside a Public Community/Junior College’s Taxing District
  • Peace Officers and Firefighters Disabled in the Line of Duty
  • Peace Officers Enrolled in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice Courses
  • Senior Citizen, 55 or Older, Tuition Reduction Program
  • Senior Citizen, 65 or Older, Free Tuition for 6 Credit Hours
  • Senior Citizen, 65 or Older, Free Tuition for Auditing Classes
  • Students Enrolled in Courses for Dual High School and College-Level Credit
  • TAPS for Tuition Program
  • Tuition Exemption for Blind or Deaf Students
  • Tuition Exemptions Related to Individuals Currently or Formerly in Foster Care in Texas
  • Tuition for Students Residing Outside of District (Ad Valorem)
  • Tuition Reduction for Students Taking More than 15 Hours


Waivers permit special groups of nonresidents to enroll in Texas public institutions of higher education and pay the Texas resident tuition or fee rate.

Listed below are the waiver programs available through the state of Texas:

  • Academic Common Market Waiver
  • Border County Waiver
  • Competitive Scholarship Waiver
  • Dual Medical/Philosophy Degree Waiver (Biomedical Research Scholarship Student Waiver)
  • Economic Development and Diversification Waiver
  • Mexican Citizens with Financial Need-Border County Waiver
  • Mexican Citizens with Financial Need-Border Nations Waiver
  • Military: After Assignment in Texas
  • Military: Assigned to Duty in Texas
  • Military: Honorably Discharged, Separated or Retired Veterans who Move to Texas
  • Military: Member, Spouse or Child who Remains Continuously Enrolled in Higher Education in Texas
  • Military: NATO Forces
  • Military: Persons Eligible for Veterans Educational Benefits, Their Spouses and Children who Move to Texas
  • Military: Radiological Science Students of Midwestern State University
  • Military: Spouse and Dependents Who Previously Lived in Texas
  • Military: Survivors
  • Out-of-State Military: If Family Intent is to Make Texas Home
  • Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants Waiver
  • Texas A&M University System: National Laboratory or National Laboratory Operator Employee or Dependent
  • Tuition Waiver for Students from Neighboring States Continuing Upper Level Undergraduate Studies
  • Waiver for College Faculty and their Dependents
  • Waiver for Students from Mexico Enrolled in Graduate Degree Programs in Public Health
  • Waiver of Nonresident Tuition for Foreign Service Officers Stationed in Mexico Attending Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas
  • Waiver Program for Registered Nurses Enrolled in Postgraduate Nursing Degree Programs


For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Programs at (888) 311-8881 or submit an online inquiry through the Contact Us form (select “Financial Aid Question” as the Contact Reason).