How do I apply to attend The University of Texas?

Go to this website: ApplyTexas. You will need to create an account to fill out the application. Click on the “Create your account now” link under the “Get Started” section. After creating an account, you can fill out the application. Be sure to keep track of your login information so that you can access your application later.

You DO NOT have to pay the application fee. However, you contact the Admissions office or your Spark Director, Shannon Mann-Butler, to have the application fee waived if you have experienced foster care.

How do I pay for college?

You must apply for an Education Training Voucher (ETV) from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The ETV provides grants for postsecondary education and training to eligible youth who are in or age out of foster care, or who are adopted from foster care after turning 16 years old. The ETV helps pay for residential housing, room and board costs/food, tuition and fees, personal items, books and school supplies, child care, some transportation needs, computer or other required equipment, and medical insurance through school. Go to this website for information about eligibility requirements, application to apply for ETV, frequently asked questions about ETV, and contact information. 

Every year, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA. Through the FAFSA you can apply for grants and work-study. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is what you fill out to receive money to go to school. You submit one every year. The priority deadline is April 1st. That means that you need to submit the FAFSA on or before April 1st so that you can get the most money possible. To fill out a FAFSA online, go to

What is the tuition & fee exemption?

As a someone who has experienced foster care, you might be eligible to attend college free through a state tuition and fee exemption. Obtain documentation from the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, contact your PAL (Preparation for Adult Living) caseworker reach out to Spark Director if you need assistance figuring out who to get in touch with.

Can I get the state tuition and fee exemption as a ward of another state?

No. You are not eligible for Texas college tuition and fee exemptions if you were in the conservatorship of another state, however you are eligible for participation in the Spark program on campus and we will work to provide you with additional support in every way that we can.

I was adopted… am I eligible for the fee exemptions or the program?

If you were adopted from foster care or were eligible for adoption at age 14 or older, you may also be eligible for the exemption and are absolutely eligible for the Fostering Horns program.