Pay For College

A piggy bank wearing a graduation cap with a diploma at its feet.

The FAFSA and TASFA are free applications that public and private colleges in the U.S. use to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid, which may include federal and state grants, scholarships, work-study, and low-interest loans.

Most financial aid dollars are awarded to students on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner seniors apply to colleges and complete the FAFSA or TASFA, the better their chances are for receiving all eligible aid dollars to use towards college tuition and other fees. High school seniors can visit the campus Go Center or Counseling Office to get help completing the FAFSA or TASFA, and they can get started with the steps below.

Pay for College FAFSA or TASFA
  1. Determine if you need to complete the FAFSA or the TASFA.
    • Students should complete only one of these financial aid applications, not both. See the Financial Aid 101 flyer below to determine which application is the right fit.
  2. Gather required income and identification information.
  3. Complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA or TASFA as soon as early January 15.
    • Early January is the Texas state priority financial aid application deadline for many colleges and universities.
    • The FAFSA is available at
    • The TASFA can be downloaded and printed at
  4. If your FAFSA gets flagged for Verification, here's what you need to know!
First page of the PDF file: 2021-2022FinancialAid101Flyer


In 2019, Texas legislatures passed a bill that makes FAFSA or TASFA completion a requirement beginning with students enrolled in 12th grade during the 2021–2022 school year. Each student must do one of the following in order to graduate:

  • Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete and submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).
  • Submit a signed opt-out form. To receive information about this process, please see your counselor.

Introduction to FAFSA

Introduction to TASFA

Pay for College: FAFSA Resources

FAFSA Checklist & Financial Aid Timeline

What to do if Your FAFSA Gets Flagged for Verification

FAFSA How-To Videos | Check out these short videos for a visual overview of the FAFSA process.

How Financial Aid Works, 5 Steps

Who Is My Parent When I Fill Out the FAFSA? | Find out with this handout or this image.

For the FAFSA, am I Dependent or Independent? | Find out with this handout or this image.

Order Your Tax Transcript | Colleges may ask for copies of tax transcripts (different from tax return forms) to verify income information listed on the FAFSA or TASFA.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Financial Aid Award | Like the fact that the FAFSA confirmation page is NOT your financial aid award.

Federal Student Aid Resources | Fact sheets and other tools to help students prepare and pay for college or career school.

Pay for College TASFA Resources | Download English and Spanish versions of the TASFA application and instructions.

Dallas College TASFA Checklist | Here's a helpful checklist for students that are completing a TASFA to attend one of the Dallas County Community Colleges.

Order Your Tax Transcript | Colleges may ask for copies of tax transcripts (different from tax return forms) to verify income information listed on the FAFSA or TASFA.

UT Arlington's Steps to Financial Aid for Undocumented Students | These steps are specific to UT Arlington. Check out each college's Financial Aid website for their TASFA instructions.

UNT Dreamers' Resource Guide | Some of the resources in this guide are specific to the University of North Texas, but it also includes general information that may be useful to undocumented and DACA students.


Pay for College Scholarship Resources

Dallas County Promise: The Dallas County Promise is a “last-dollar scholarship’” for students graduating from participating high schools. This means it will cover the gap between what state and federal financial aid cover and the cost of tuition at a Promise Partner college. No GPA or income restrictions!

Go Center Scholarship List: Check out this list of scholarship databases and specific scholarship applications updated by your Go Center advisors.

Dallas County Parent Promise: One parent/guardian of each Duncanville High School senior can train at any Dallas County Community College for an in-demand career, tuition paid. The parent's 2017 adjusted gross income (AGI) must be $55,000 or less.

Duncanville High School's Scholarship Tips Sheet: 3 steps to tap into FREE money for college, plus tips on applying for scholarships and links to scholarship searches.

Texas Colleges and Universities Automatic Admission Tool: Plug in your GPA, rank, and test scores to see if you qualify for automatic admission to 35 public, 4-year colleges in Texas. Links to automatic admission requirements and merit-based scholarships are included.

Colleges with Guaranteed Admission Based on ACT/SAT Scores: These 13 out-of-state colleges offer guaranteed admission for freshman applicants who meet specific ACT and SAT score benchmarks.

Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need for Students: These colleges will meet 100% of an admitted student's demonstrated financial need with grants, work-study, scholarships, and in some cases, student loans.

Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need for Undocumented and DACA Students: These colleges will meet 100% of an admitted student's demonstrated financial need, regardless of residency status, with grants, student employment, scholarships, and in some cases, student loans.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: This list of scholarships is specifically for students with disabilities.

Guaranteed Scholarships Based on ACT/SAT Scores: This is not a comprehensive list, but you can review 16 U.S. university scholarship programs that are  based on ACT/SAT scores, as well as qualifiers like GPA and class rank.

The Best Colleges Providing Free Tuition: Review two college lists - one includes colleges offering free tuition to most students and the other includes colleges offering free tuition to students from families with incomes below a specific dollar amount.

80+ Colleges with Full-Ride Scholarships: This list includes colleges across the U.S. that offer at least one full-ride scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition as well as other costs, such as room and board, books, and supplies.

STEM Scholarships: Here are a few scholarships related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

Scholarships for Business Majors: This guide provides information on scholarships for business majors and highlights some of the best available awards.