Future Occupations & Reskilling Workforce Advancement to Reach Demand (FORWARD) Loan Program
The Future Occupations & Reskilling Workforce Advancement to Reach Demand (FORWARD) Loan Program provides alternative educational loans to Texas students who are unable to meet an institution’s cost of attendance (COA*).
The FORWARD Loan Program is a low-interest loan designed for students enrolled in programs aligned with high value credentials and high demand occupations. This program is limited to students enrolled in specific programs within the fields of Nursing/Patient Care, Teaching, Technology, Transportation/Logistics, and Energy. To see if your program is eligible, refer to the full list here. Eligible credentials are reassessed annually. To qualify, you must also be able to complete this program within two years or less. See below for further eligibility details.
*An institution’s COA is an estimate of the average expenses a student would need to pay to attend that school for an academic year. This amount includes both direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses are those that an institution bills a student for, such as tuition, fees, and room and board (for students living on campus). Indirect expenses are estimates of other costs that students should expect to pay while they’re in school. This includes costs for books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
The amount of federal aid that a student is eligible for must be deducted from the cost of attendance in determining the FORWARD Loan amount. This is true even if the student has not accepted the aid that was offered.
Student Eligibility Requirements
- Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident
- Be registered with Selective Service, or be exempt
- Meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the institution
- Receive a favorable credit evaluation or provide a cosigner who has good credit standing and meets other requirements
- Not exceed the manageable loan debt calculated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- Be enrolled in a High-Demand Credential program that the student will be able to complete in two years or less; eligibility for the program ends two years from the start of the semester in which the student received the first loan through the Program
Additional enrollment requirements:
- If enrolled in a degree program, must have completed at least 50% of the required coursework prior to receiving a loan through the Program
- If enrolled in a non-degree program, the program’s duration must be less than two years
- If enrolled in master's degree coursework, the master’s degree must be part of a combined baccalaureate-master's program approved by the institution of higher education
- Annual: Cost of attendance less other financial aid and financial resources
- Aggregate: Cannot exceed manageable student loan debt as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- An origination fee will not be assessed for all approved FORWARD Loan borrowers
Cosigner Eligibility Requirements
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a regular source of income
- Not be the borrower or the spouse of the borrower
- Receive a favorable credit evaluation
- Be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent U.S. resident and reside in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory
Favorable Credit Evaluation Requirements
Students or cosigners must:
- Have an Experian VantageScore of 650 or higher
- Not have public records such as tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings
- Have a minimum of four credit trade lines, excluding student loans or authorized user accounts
- Not have defaulted on any federal or private education loans
In line with financial industry practice, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reports account obligations to the credit reporting agencies. The reporting is at the loan level, with each loan reported as a tradeline. Cosigners are equally responsible for the repayment of the loan if the student fails to meet his or her repayment obligation.
- Interest begins to accrue on the outstanding principal from the date of disbursement using simple interest
- Loans are not eligible for interest subsidy, but the interest is not capitalized
- Interest is currently a fixed annual rate of 3.85%
- Loans have a six-month grace period from the date a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution
- Up to a ten-year repayment period
- Monthly payment amount is calculated annually based on income, the monthly accrued interest on FORWARD loans, and cumulative outstanding student loan principal balance
- The loan will not be sold to another lender
- Postponement of loan repayment is available
How Can I Apply?
You can apply at Apply Online.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Review Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 22, Subchapter J and the Texas Education Code, Chapter 52, or contact our Borrower Services Department:
- Toll-free: 800-242-3062
- Online Inquiries: CONTACT US (select "Student Loan Question" as the Contact Reason)