(a) Before graduating from high school, each student must complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA).
(b) A student is not required to comply with Subsection (a) if:
(1) the student's parent or other person standing in parental relation submits a signed form indicating that the parent or other person authorizes the student to decline to complete and submit the financial aid application;
(2) the student signs and submits the form described by Subdivision (1) on the student's own behalf if the student is 18 years of age or older or the student's disabilities of minority have been removed for general purposes under Chapter 31, Family Code; or
(3) a school counselor authorizes the student to decline to complete and submit the financial aid application for good cause, as determined by the school counselor.
(c) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall adopt a form to be used for purposes of Subsection (b). The form must be:
(1) approved by the agency; and
(2) made available in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by a majority of the students enrolled in a bilingual education or special language program under Subchapter B, Chapter 29, in the district or school.
(d) If a school counselor notifies a school district whether a student has complied with this section for purposes of determining whether the student meets high school graduation requirements under Section 28.025 , the school counselor may only indicate whether the student has complied with this section and may not indicate the manner in which the student complied.
(e) The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section, including rules to:
(A) a timeline for:
(i) the distribution to students of the free application for federal student aid or Texas application for state financial aid and the form adopted under Subsection (c); and
(ii) the submission of a form under Subsection (b);
(B) standards regarding the information that a school district or open-enrollment charter school must provide to students regarding:
(i) in accordance with Section 33.007(b)(5) , instructions for filling out the free application for federal student aid or Texas application for state financial aid; and
(ii) the options available to a student under Subsection (b) if the student wishes to decline to complete and submit a financial aid application; and
(C) the method by which a student must provide to a school district or open-enrollment charter school proof that the student has completed and submitted the free application for federal student aid or Texas application for state financial aid as required by this section;
(2) require each school district to report to the agency:
(A) the number of students who completed and submitted a financial aid application under Subsection (a); and
(B) the number of students who received an exception from complying with Subsection (a) under Subsection (b); and
(3) ensure compliance with federal law regarding confidentiality of student educational information, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ( 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g ), and any state law relating to the privacy of student information.
(f) The agency shall establish an advisory committee to assist the agency in adopting rules under Subsection (e) to implement this section and to develop recommendations for that purpose. The advisory committee is composed of:
(1) school counselors;
(2) school administrators; and
(3) stakeholders to represent the needs of interested students.
(g) Not later than January 1, 2021, the agency shall report the advisory committee's recommendations to the standing committee of each house of the legislature with jurisdiction over public education. Subsection (f) and this subsection expire January 1, 2023.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Education Code - EDUC § 28.0256. Financial Aid Application Requirement for High School Graduation - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/education-code/educ-sect-28-0256.html
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