Tarleton State University is offering incoming freshman a chance to earn free tuition beginning with the fall 2009 semester.

The Texan Tuition Guarantee is a new program that waives tuition and fees for new freshmen who qualify. Students can continue to attend Tarleton free of charge for four years if they meet set requirements.

Director of Student Financial Aid Betty Murray said the program is a great opportunity, opening the doors of education to graduating high school seniors who might have thought college was too expensive.

“It’s a brand new program that begins in fall 2009,” Murray said. “It’s a great program for students, especially in these economic times.”

Students need to fill out a free application for federal student aid (FASFA) form to apply for the program.

“You have to file the FASFA by April 15,” Murray said. “You can do that online, then we get the information electronically.”

Eligibility for the program is based on financial need. To qualify for the Texan Tuition Guarantee, the family’s adjusted gross income (AGI) must be $30,000 or less and the student must qualify for the PELL grant.

Murray said when Tarleton receives the student’s FASFA information, they apply the PELL grant money to the student account. Then, the tuition program pays the balance.

Students must be a Texas resident and complete a minimum of 15 semester credit hours, for a total of 30 semester hours in the academic year.

After the first year, the student reapplies for the program by re-filing their FASFA.

To remain qualified, students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and work toward an undergraduate degree.

Money earned through the program does not count against the institutional scholarship cap and cannot be applied to summer semesters, books or living expenses.

Murray said as long as a student meets the requirements, they can work under the program for eight consecutive semesters.

Eligibility requirements can be found online at http://www.tarleton.edu/~finaid/texantuitionguar.html.

For more information, contact the Tarleton financial aid office at (254) 968-9070.

Fill out FASFA information online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.