AUSTIN - State Senator Van Taylor today filed S.B. 141, TEXAS Grants for Texans Act, which would change eligibility requirements for Texas education grants so that only legal citizens qualify.
“As we prepare for session, high school seniors across Texas are beginning to open their college acceptance letters,” stated Taylor. “This is an exciting time for our next generation of leaders. As our students are evaluating their options, getting bumped from acceptance of a TEXAS Grant by someone without legal status should not weigh on their mind. With limited resources, our priority should focus on those families here legally, not rewarding those for breaking our nation’s laws.”
In 1999, the Texas Legislature established the TEXAS (Towards Excellence, Access and Success) Grant to assist well-prepared high school students with financial need to go to college. To date, the TEXAS Grant program has received over $3.3 billion in appropriations and has distributed awards to over 460,000 students.
Currently, TEXAS Grants have no legal citizenship or residency requirement allowing those in our country illegally to qualify for taxpayer-funded TEXAS Grants. The TEXAS Grants for Texans Act amends the requirements for TEXAS Grant eligibility to conform with federal guidelines for financial aid eligibility, ensuring that TEXAS Grant monies are awarded only to legal Texas citizens.
Other state's scholarship programs include a citizenship requirement for eligibility. For example, Massachusetts has a similar MASS Grant Program that requires recipients be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of both the Nominations Committee and the Sunset Advisory Commission. He is also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees as well as the interim Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.