Waivers and Exemptions

This past spring, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1210. This law now requires students who receive specific tuition exemptions or waivers to meet a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in order to continue to receive this benefit. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours, cumulative, that an undergraduate student may take and continue to be eligible for the exemption or waiver.  Going into effect for Fall 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board indicated this law affects a number of exemption and waiver programs at Texas A&M University - Commerce. We wanted to reach out to you early so you can determine whether you can meet this new requirement.

Common exemptions or waivers that are subject to the new law include:

Deaf or blind

Firefighters taking Fire Science courses

Hazelwood exemptions (all Hazelwood waivers except for child/spouse of a deceased veteran)

Highest-ranking high school scholar

Peace officer

Senior citizen

Foster Care Exemptions are currently exempt from the GPA evaluation. A full list of exemptions and waivers can be found at www.collegeforalltexans.com.

For those students who do not meet the GPA requirements, an appeal process is available.


Waivers reduce a student’s tuition assessment rate from non-resident status to Texas resident status. Exemptions remove tuition and/or fees assessment. Waivers and exemptions are granted for the following reasons:

Economic Diversification Waiver

Contact Financial Services
Eligibility: Nonresident and domiciled foreign students whose family has been transferred to Texas as a part of the state’s plan for economic development. Required documentation: Company transferring student's family to Texas must meet Texas Department of Commerce requirements (contact Angie Mendez 512-936-0222). Coordinating Board notifies the university of eligibility for the waiver.

Military Personnel Stationed in Texas Waiver

Contact Financial Services
Eligibility: Military personnel stationed in Texas, their spouses and children. Required documentation: Must provide documentation from the military of eligibility at least once per year.

Higher Education Teaching Waiver

Contact Financial Services
Eligibility: Must be employed at least half-time as a teacher or professor at any Texas institution of higher education (employee’s spouse and children are also eligible). Required documentation: Documentation from institution verifying at least half-time employment as a teacher or professor on a regular monthly salary.

Reciprocal Agreement with Bordering Counties Waiver

Contact Admissions
Eligibility: Students from neighboring states living in counties adjacent to the Texas border with which we have a reciprocal agreement. Required documentation: University must have file at the Coordinating Board that reciprocity exists between a neighboring state institution and a comparable Texas institution.

Mexican Citizen with Financial Need Waiver

Contact Financial Services
Eligibility: Students from Mexico who have financial need. Required documentation: Proof of financial need.

Teaching/Research Assistant Waiver

Contact Graduate School
Eligibility: Student must be employed as a teaching or research assistant at a public institution of higher education. Eligibility is limited to the semester of assistantship appointment. (Employee’s spouse and children are also eligible). Required documentation: Student must provide proof of at least half-time employment as a research or teaching assistant.

Competitive Scholarship Waiver

Contact Scholarship Office
Eligibility: Student receives competitive scholarships for at least $1,000. Eligibility for waiver is tied to semesters covered by scholarship. Required documentation: Student must have competed with other students, including Texas residents for the award. A recognized A&M-Commerce scholarship committee must administer the scholarship. Funds and selection must be under university control.

Academic Common Market Waiver

Contact Graduate School
Eligibility: Nonresident students enrolled in graduate programs not offered in their home states. Required documentation: Contact Coordinating Board (Linda McDonough 512-427-6525).

NATO Forces Waiver

Contact Financial Services
Eligibility: Nonresident aliens, their spouses and dependent children stationed in Texas with NATO forces. Required documentation: Proof that family is stationed in Texas in keeping with the North Atlantic Treaty.

Bordering States Waiver

(resident rate plus $30 per credit hour)
Contact Admissions
Eligibility: Undergraduate students from Oklahoma may pay a lowered nonresident tuition rate when they attend a public university located with 100 miles of the Texas border if the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the institution to participate in the program.

Valedictorian Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts tuition only
Eligibility: Valedictorians of each accredited Texas high school. Applies during first two regular semesters following high school graduation. Must be used within two years of high school graduation. Required Documentation: Documentation that student was highest ranking graduate of an accredited high school in Texas. Certificate is issued by Texas Education Agency (TEA). If the certificate is lost, a new one may be acquired through the high school or TEA, or a letter from the high school principal or superintendent may serve as proof of eligibility.

Hazlewood Exemption

Contact Veterans Affairs Office
exempts tuition/fees, except student services fee and property deposit
Eligibility: U.S. military veterans and children of deceased veterans who were Texans when they entered the service; served at least 180 days of active military duty (excluding training), have insufficient federal education benefits (including Pell and SEOG) to cover relevant tuition and fees. No student may use Hazlewood for more than 150 credit hours, with the count beginning in fall 1995. Required documentation: Official documentation indicating eligibility (usually the DD214), plus documentation from the financial aid office regarding eligibility for Pell of SEOG.

Children of Deceased Texas Vets Exemption

Contact Veterans Affairs Office
exempts tuition/fees, except student service fee and property deposit
Eligibility: Dependents of Texas veterans killed in action or died while in service, or whose death was directly caused by illness or injury connected with service in the armed forces. Required documentation: Official documentation from the military, indicating eligibility.

Children of Disabled Firemen and Peace Officers Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts all tuition/fees, except property deposit
Eligibility: Children of disabled firemen and peace officers. Student must apply prior to 21st birthday. Required documentation: Contact Coordinating Board (Angela Crowder, 1-800-242-3062, ext 6344) to acquire letter certifying students eligibility. (Coordinating Board letter is issued after it receives confirmation from the parent’s prior employer of the student’s eligibility.)

MIA/POW Children

Contact Financial Services
exempts all tuition/fees
Eligibility: Children of POWs/MIAs. Student must be 25 or younger and receiving most of their support from a parent. Required documentation: Provide proof from US Department of Defense that parent is MIA or POW.

Disabled Peace Officers Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts all tuition/fees, except property deposit
Eligibility: Peace officers disabled in the line of duty. Applies up to 12 semesters of undergraduate degree, and work on first master's degree and first doctoral degree. Required documentation: Contact Coordinating Board (Angela Crowder, 1-800-242-3062, ext 6344). to acquire letter certifying student's eligibility. (Coordinating Board letter is issued after it receives confirmation from prior employer of the student’s eligibility.)

Blind or Deaf Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts all tuition/fees
Eligibility: Blind or Deaf students. Required Documentation: Certification of blind or deaf condition by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, the Texas Commission for the Blind, or the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Good Neighbor Scholarship Exemption

Contact International Student Services Office
exempts tuition only
Eligibility: Students from other nations of the western hemisphere (other than Cuba). Required Documentation: Coordinating Board must approve eligible students. Students are selected by the Coordinating Board according to school and geographic priorities. Deadline is March 15.

Senior Citizens Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts tuition/fees for auditing courses
exempts tuition only up to six credit hours per term
Both exemptions are based on space availability.
Eligibility: Senior Citizens 65 or older. Required Documentation: Proof of age

Foster Care Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts tuition/fees
Eligibility: Students in foster or other residential care. Student must enroll within 3 years of earliest dates: date student was discharged from foster or other residential care, date student graduated from high school or received equivalency degree, or student’s 21st birthday. Required Documentation: Student must provide proof of having been in foster care or other residential care under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on or after the day preceding the student’s 18th birthday, the day of the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day; or the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school degree.

Texas National Guard Exemption

Contact Financial Services
exempts tuition not to exceed 12 semester hours per term per individual
Eligibility: Members in good standing of the Texas National Guard. This includes TXARNG, TXANG, and the State Guard. Required Documentation: Adjutant General’s Office approval to the Coordinating Board. Fall deadline is June 15, spring deadline is November 15. All applications are to be mailed directly to the Adjutant General’s Office.


Employee Scholarship Program

Contact Financial Services
exempts tuition up to 6 credit hours per term
Eligibility: A&M-Commerce employee for at least six months in a full-time budgeted position. Required Documentation: Employee Scholarship Application indicating approval of Department Head and signed promissory note for cost of tuition in case course is dropped or employee receives grade lower than C.