Texas Education Code Chapter 28 related to the high school graduation requirements has added Section 28.0256 promoting a financial aid application requirement for all students first enrolled in 12 th grade in the 2021-22 school year and beyond.

    In order for a student to meet high school graduation requirements, they must comply with the following:

    • Before graduating from high school, each student must complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA)- For all undocumented students.

    There are some exceptions to meeting this graduation requirement:

    (1) The student ’s parent or other person standing in parental relation submits a signed form indicating that they authorize the student to decline to complete and submit the financial aid application;

    (2) The student signs and submits the FAFSA Opt-Out form on the student ’s own behalf, if the student is 18 years of age or older or the student ’s disabilities of minority (student emancipation) have been removed for general purposes under Chapter 31, Family Code, or

    (3) A school counselor authorizes the student to decline to complete and submit the financial aid application for good cause, as determined by the school counselor.

    A school district shall adopt a form to be used for opt-out purposes. The form must be:

    • approved by the agency; and

    • made available in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by a majority of the students enrolled in a bilingual education or special language program in the district or school.

    The school counselor or person who certifies to the district that students have complied with high school graduation requirements under Section 28.025, may only indicate whether the student has complied with this section and may not indicate the manner in which the student complied.

    All students entering the 12 th grade in the 2021-2022 school year will be subject to these provisions to meet graduation requirements.