Children of Disabled Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition assistance in the form of exemption of all dues, fees, and charges for any child of an eligible disabled or deceased firefighter or law enforcement officer injured in the line of duty.

NOTE: This webpage is intended to provide basic information for the public by highlighting requirements that appear in the Texas Education Code (TEC) and Texas Administrative Code (TAC). When reviewing eligibility requirements this exemption program, you should always refer to the relevant statutes and rules. The information on this webpage is to be used solely as a resource and does not override the statute or rules for this exemption program. It is not intended as, and does not constitute, legal advice.

Eligibility Requirements

To be determined eligible for this exemption by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the following criteria must be met by the parent:

Parent was once a paid or volunteer:

Parent suffered a work-related injury in the line of duty that resulted in death* or disability.

  • If parent was disabled, the disability determination must be issued by a physician designated to make disability reports to the Social Security Administration.

*Note: If the parent’s death occurred on or after Sept. 1, 2000, the student may be eligible for Education Benefits for Certain Survivors of Individuals in Specific Public Servant Positions.


    To qualify for this exemption, the applicant must:

    • Apply before reaching the age of 21 (or 22 if the student was eligible to participate in a school district’s special education program);
    • Meet all entrance requirements of the institution;
    • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student or be attending only undergraduate courses;
    • Have an Eligibility Determination Letter from the THECB on file with the institution confirming that the student meets all tuition exemption program requirements;
    • Be under the age of 26 at the start of the semester or term; and
    • Have filed a selective service statement of registration status and proof of status with their institution (not applicable if attending a public community college).
    • To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the student must:

      • Meet all program eligibility requirements;
      • Meet the institution’s financial aid GPA requirement;
      • Not have attempted an excessive number of semester credit hours as an undergraduate student (see Texas Education Code, Section 54.014).
    • Not have reached 26 years of age; and
    • Not have registered for more than 120 undergraduate semester credit hours.

    Note: A student who does not meet the GPA requirement or excessive hour restriction may qualify for a hardship exception; contact your institution for more information.

    Eligible Institutions

    All Texas public colleges and universities are required to participate in this program.

    Award Amount

    The award exempts an eligible person from the payment of dues, fees, and charges for the first 120 undergraduate semester credit hours for which the student registers.

    • Exemption from tuition is only for courses in which the institution receives formula funding (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its costs).
    • Application Process

      Step One: Employer Certification

      Employer mails the following documentation to the THECB:

    Step Two: Supporting Documentation

    Student mails the following documentation to the THECB:

  • Copy of the student’s birth certificate.
  • If the parent is deceased and death occurred before Sept. 1, 2000, a copy of the death certificate is required.

Step Three: Eligibility Determination

Documentation submitted will be reviewed by the THECB.

  • Additional documentation may be requested.

If the student is eligible, the THECB will email an official Eligibility Determination Letter to the:

  • Student;
  • Authorizing official at institution where student is enrolled.

Additional Information