SAN ANTONIO – For many recent Texas graduates, the celebration is over as they begin to pay off their student debt.
Unfortunately, many students are not aware of a tuition rebate of up to $1,000 they can receive from the state.
Texas public universities are required to award students the rebate for graduating on time and not exceeding a certain number of credits outside their degree plan, along with other criteria.
Unfortunately, how schools advertise and inform students about the rebate application varies.
Some schools automatically apply for the rebate on behalf of students when the students apply for graduation, but according a report June 1 in the Austin American Statesman, many students are not aware of the rebate.
Sam Houston State senior Marissa Saenz said she had to go to the financial aid office to learn about the rebate rather than it be standard procedure.
“I talked to an adviser who mentioned the rebate, but another adviser hadn’t mentioned to me," Saenz said. "It’s not something, I feel, they tell everybody.”
The application process for each university varies.
According to the Texas State University Tuition Rebate Information page, students must apply for the rebate “no sooner than the first day of the semester in which you graduate and no later than 60 days after graduation.”
However, the University of Texas requires students to apply before the official date of graduation or risk being ineligible.
According to the Statesman, financial gain doesn’t appear to be the reason for the lack of rebate advertising because public universities estimate rebates and other expenses before each legislative session.
According to appropriations requests from the Statesman that date back to 2010, most public universities overestimated the amount of money given as tuition rebates and owe as much as $120,000, records show.