Students in the classroom

In an effort to increase access to higher education, UTPB has created the Falcon Free, a plan that covers the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for students who have limited family resources to pay for college. The Falcon Free Program will cover tuition and mandatory fees (up to 15 credit hours for the fall and spring semesters only) for first time undergraduate degree-seeking undergraduate Texas residents that have a family adjusted gross income that does not exceed $100,000, and who are enrolled full time (12 hours or more each semester). This opportunity is provided until funding is exhausted.

Eligible students must be accepted for admission in an on-campus or online undergraduate program and have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before July 15 to be considered for Falcon Free. Students may qualify for the program for up to eight (8) semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment.

Students qualify for Falcon Free if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have a combined family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or less
  • Accepted for admission in an on-campus or online undergraduate program and have completed their FAFSA by July 15 for students starting in the Fall and November 15 for students starting in the Spring semester
  • Any degree-seeking student that has not completed their first undergraduate degree
  • A Texas resident according to state guidelines
  • Enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) each fall and spring semester

Falcon Free ensures tuition and mandatory fees up to 15 credit hours per semester (fall and spring semesters only) will be paid by a combination of federal, state, and institutional funds. If the combined total of these funds is greater than the tuition and mandatory fee total for the semester (up to 15 credit hours), Falcon Free has been met and no additional grant is awarded. *Examples of funds used to meet Falcon Free include, but are not limited to: Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, TEXAS Grant, tuition waiver/exemptions, institutional scholarships, etc. Falcon Free will not cover room/board, course-related fees, books, supplies, or miscellaneous expenses.

This guarantee is subject to change without notice based on the annual funding levels provided to the university by the federal and state education agencies.

More Falcon Free Program FAQs:

Is there a separate application for Falcon Free?

No. Once the student files the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will identify all eligible students.

If I am eligible for Falcon Free, will I continue to receive it for the remaining semesters?

The Financial Aid Office will identify all eligible recipients based on the academic year's FAFSA. Eligible recipients will be reviewed if they complete the FAFSA by the deadline for each academic year and meet all program eligibility requirements listed above.

If I am eligible for additional grant funds under Falcon Free, when will it be applied to my account?

Review for Falcon Free is done each semester after total enrollment is confirmed. This typically happens at the mid-point of the semester. If a Falcon Free eligible student had any remaining tuition and mandatory fees not covered by scholarship and grant funds, additional grant funds will be awarded at that time.

Are there academic requirements to remain eligible for Falcon Free?

Yes. Students must meet UTPB's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.

Is Falcon Free available to both dependent and independent students?

Falcon Free is based on financial need eligibility, not on dependency status.

Is Falcon Free available in the summer?

No. The program is only for enrollment in the fall and spring semesters.

How did this happen? 

UTPB’s previous tuition assistance program for students covered tuition and fees for students whose adjusted gross family income was $60,000 or less a year. The new Promise Plus endowment established by the University of Texas System, which will make distributions to institutions annually, is expected to generate about $1 million for UTPB this year, making it comparable to a $22 million endowment that will distribute tuition-relief funds in perpetuity. And it also means the new Falcon Free program can raise its family income threshold to $100,000 and make it possible for 700 additional students to have their entire tuition covered. In West Texas, more than 70% of households have an average income below $100,000. 

What’s the most important thing for me to do right now?  

Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before July 15 

Can anyone help me fill out the FAFSA? 

Yes! Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at finaid@utpb.edu or (432) 552-2620 for assistance completing the FAFSA. 

Why isn’t this available for graduate students?  

The funding was provided by UT System and designated the dollars for only undergraduate students at this time. UT Permian Basin has an incredible Graduate Studies staff who is ready and willing to help our graduate students find potential opportunities. Please feel free to reach out to Graduate Studies and book an appointment with their staff. 

Do international students qualify? 

International students are not eligible to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a requirement to receive this and other types of grant funding. International students may apply for general scholarships. The general scholarship application allows students to submit one application and then be matched with scholarships they meet the requirements for. UTPB Scholarships

Is there anything Falcon Free doesn’t cover? 

Yes, Falcon Free will not cover room/board, course-related fees, books, supplies, or miscellaneous expenses. 

Is Falcon Free guaranteed for everyone who qualifies?  

While we have a lot of funding available and believe we can serve many people, this is not an unlimited opportunity. Apply and complete your FAFSA early for best consideration. 

Does Falcon Free cover non-mandatory fees? 

No. The Falcon Free program only covers mandatory fees. Course fees, lab fees, and other non-mandatory fees aren’t included. More information about fees

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