Financial Aid and Scholarships

The University Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Program offers assistance to students demonstrating financial need and awards scholarships to students of high scholastic achievement.

Financial aid is allocated on the basis of scholastic merit and/or need in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Often aid is offered in all four forms; however, acceptance of loan and work-study offers is optional. The aid is administered on an individual basis according to the particular circumstances of the student and his/her family.

Financial assistance is awarded for one year at a time. Separate applications must be filed each year. Application materials are available in October for the coming academic year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the official application for financial aid at HSU.
Financial assistance is committed only to students who are tentatively or fully approved for admission, or who are eligible returning students.

The University cooperates in making available funds provided by both the federal and state government to students for grants, employment, and loans. HSU must administer the federal and state programs within prescribed regulations. All government programs are dependent on funding by federal and state governments. Awards are subject to funding by legislation and are not binding on the University if such programs are not funded. All inquiries and requests for information should be directed to:


Office of Financial Aid

Box 16050

Abilene, Texas 79698-6050

or submitted via email to

Satisfactory Academic Progress – To continue receiving financial assistance, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined in both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (credits completed versus credits attempted) terms. GPA requirements are:

Credits Attempted GPA Completion%
12-32 1.60 75%
33-48 1.80 75%
49+ 2.00 75%

Details of the University policy are available in the Office of Financial Aid and online. It is important that every student receiving any type of financial assistance (federal, state, or institutional) be aware of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The maximum time frame an undergraduate student can remain eligible for financial aid cannot exceed 150% of the published length of his/her program. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 124 credit hours, the maximum time frame established by the school must not exceed 186 attempted credit hours (that is, 124 X 1.5 = 186). The “150% Rule” also applies to individual courses. A student can only receive financial aid for repeat of the same course one (1) time for a maximum of two (2) attempts.

Evaluation for Financial Aid Standards of Progress will be measured on work completed only at HSU; however, certain programs may require inclusion of all college course work.

The Office of Financial Aid will notify a student who ceases to meet minimum requirements for satisfactory progress. Students receiving veteran's benefits must meet additional standards and should see the section on Veterans Benefits.

How Terminating Enrollment Affects Financial Aid

The primary responsibility for paying for a student’s college education rests with the student and his/her family. Any financial aid obtained through the Office of Financial Aid—federal, state, or institutional—is considered supplemental. When a student withdraws, is expelled, or ceases to be a student at HSU before the regular end of the academic session for which he/she received financial aid, there is sometimes a refund due, in accordance with the University’s refund policy. However, if the student has received financial aid for the semester during which he/she withdraws, Federal law and University policy dictate that calculated amounts be returned to the respective Financial Aid program(s). Early withdrawal may mean the loss of part or all of a student’s institutional grants or scholarships and the loss of part or all of a student’s federal or state aid. Policies and formulas for determining the amounts to be returned to the individual programs are available in the Office of Financial Aid. Students must complete at least one semester hour per term with a passing grade to prevent the return of financial aid monies for that semester. For financial aid purposes, the Department of Education monitors class attendance. Non-attendance, failure to withdraw, and the subsequent result of all failing grades, will result in financial aid monies being returned. Also, a student receiving all failing grades in a term will be placed on Academic Suspension by the Registrar. Students on Academic Suspension are automatically placed on Financial Aid Suspension and ineligible for financial aid of any kind. Withdrawing from the university in multiple long semesters (fall, spring) will result in a review of satisfactory progress towards a degree. Students not demonstrating progress towards a degree are not eligible for financial aid.


The federal Department of Education requires schools to have a printed deadline for verifications. All necessary documentation must be received by April 30 of the award year. In addition, any unsolicited documents received by HSU will be destroyed.


A pre-registered student wishing to cancel enrollment for a term must do so before the first day of class. After a term has begun, withdrawal from the University is required regardless if the student attended class. The withdrawal process calculates prorated refunds of charges and financial aid returns. Students who do not cancel registered classes prior to the first day of class may cancel/withdraw on the first day of class and receive a 100% refund with no financial aid awarded. A student who withdraws on the 2nd day of class or later during the semester will be subject to the Refund and Return to Title IV policies. Although financial aid is awarded at the beginning of each semester, according to the Department of Education aid is EARNED one day at a time. When a student withdraws from the university, a return calculation must be performed to determine how much Title IV aid has been earned and how much must be returned.

Government Aid Programs

(Federal And State)

(See the “My Financial Aid Guide” on the HSU Financial Aid Website for more detailed information.)
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
Texas Tuition Equalization Grants (Requires Texas Residency Affirmation form)
Federal Work Study
Texas College Work Study
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students
Various Private Student Loan options

Veterans Benefits

The coordination of benefits for veterans and/or dependents of veterans is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar. Students qualifying for assistance must complete necessary documentation with the VA Office and provide certification to the Registrar’s Office to receive funds. To receive benefits from the various programs, i.e. Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, 1606, 1607, and Yellow Ribbon, students must be making satisfactory academic progress towards a degree. Any veteran on academic probation risks losing benefits. As of August 2009 veterans benefits no longer affect eligibility for Federal financial aid.

Effective August 1, 2019, a student receiving VA educational benefits may attend and participate in classes while HSU is waiting on funds from the VA. Hardin-Simmons University will not impose any penalty on a student with VA funding while waiting on payment. Hardin-Simmons University will not impose any penalty because of delayed disbursement of funding from the VA under Chapter 31 or 33. The student will not receive a late fee, denial of access to class or libraries, or any other HSU facility while waiting on VA payment. HSU will not require a VA student to borrow additional funds to cover their bill for the amount the VA has committed to paying HSU for the student balance due.

Block Tuition

Block tuition covers 34 hours for fall, spring, and summer sessions (including May Term). Fees are not included in the Block Tuition rate. A student must be enrolled full-time (12-17 hours) in HSU for the Block Tuition plan. Additional courses exceeding the 34-hour block (17-hours per semester) will be subject to an additional hourly tuition rate. This rate is subject to change each year.

Institutional Aid Programs

HSU offers numerous grants and scholarships to eligible students from various resources. All institutional aid, including departmental awards, are capped at tuition.

Scholarships Defined

Scholarships are monetary considerations awarded based on academic achievement with the intention of recognizing, encouraging, and assisting men and women who give exceptional promise of becoming leaders in their chosen fields. The generosity of HSU alumni and friends has ensured that current and future HSU students may receive assistance in financing their education. As a scholarship recipient, you may be asked to write a letter of appreciation to the donor of your specified scholarship(s). The Office of Financial Aid will contact you after the semester commences should you be asked to provide a letter(s) of appreciation. All institutional awards, including departmental awards, are HSU-tuition specific and are capped at tuition. Tuition for the Intercollege program (ACU, McMurry), study abroad beyond one semester, Physical Therapy Program, and Physician Assistant Program is not covered.

Grants Defined

A grant is any financial assistance in which academic achievement is not the determining factor and is awarded based on the financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

General Regulations Governing Scholarships and Grants Scholarships and grants are subject to the following regulations:

  1. All students are encouraged to notify the Office of Financial Aid upon receipt or notification of an outside scholarship or departmental award. Additional funds received can and will affect the total financial aid package.
  2. All HSU institutional scholarships or grants require at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA) unless a higher GPA is stipulated. All GPA’s are assessed prior to the start of each fall semester. The State TEG Grant Program requires a 2.50 cumulative GPA. In addition, an undergraduate student must complete 24 credit hours in an academic year to qualify for TEG the next academic year.
  3. A student on second consecutive academic or financial aid suspension is not eligible to hold a university scholarship or university grant. This rule may not apply to certain scholarships awarded under a different set of regulations.
  4. The Office of Financial Aid, under the supervision of the Vice President of Enrollment Management, awards scholarships and grants. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to cancel any scholarship or grant for reasons it considers justifiable.
  5. Full-time HSU enrollment is required for most scholarships and grants. Some programs may be prorated for part-time enrollment. In the case of a student’s final semester and is not required to be full-time, all institutional aid will be prorated according to the student’s actual enrollment status.
  6. All tuition-specific grants or scholarships apply to HSU tuition only. The Intercollege program (ACU, McMurry), study abroad beyond one semester, Physical Therapy Program, or Physician Assistant Program tuition charges are not covered.

Following admission to HSU, students are considered for scholarships based on a combination of the following criteria: academic preparation and performance, standardized testing, co-curricular involvement, enrollment status, and anticipated major. Except where noted, no additional application is required; admissions and financial aid applications are used for scholarship evaluation. Requirements and/or evaluation criteria are subject to change. Awards funded by HSU are capped at tuition.

Most institutional scholarships are renewable up to eight (8) consecutive long semesters provided satisfactory academic progress is being made, full-time enrollment status is maintained, and renewal grade point minimums are being met. Some specific scholarships are awarded on an annual basis only. In the case of a student’s final semester and less than 12 hours are required for graduation, a student’s institutional scholarships may be prorated according to the student’s actual enrollment status.

Freshmen and Transfers with Less Than 24 Credits

Scholarship: Trustee Scholarship
Amount $16,500
Requirements: Based upon test scores and high school academic criteria
Renewal GPA: 3.75
Scholarship: Presidents Scholarship
Amount $14,500
Requirements: Based upon test scores and high school academic criteria
Renewal GPA: 3.25
Scholarship: Deans Scholarship
Amount: $13,000
Requirements: Based upon test scores and high school academic criteria
Renewal GPA: 2.75
Scholarship: University Scholarship
Amount $12,000
Requirements: 20 ACT or 1020 RSAT
Renewal GPA: 2.25
Scholarship: National Merit Finalist
Amount: 100% tuition
Requirements: 2019 graduates named National Merit Finalist entering HSU as a new, first-time freshman. Students must provide National Merit certificate to verify award.
Renewal GPA: 3.50
Scholarship: National Merit Semi-Finalist
Amount: 50% tuition
Requirements: 2019 graduates named National Merit Semi-Finalist entering HSU as a new, first-time freshman. Students must provide National Merit certificate to verify award.
Renewal GPA: 3.00

Transfers With More Than 24 Credits*

Scholarship: Presidents Scholarship
Amount $13,000
Requirements: 3.50+ Transfer GPA
Renewal GPA: 3.25
Scholarship: Deans Scholarship
Amount: $11,000
Requirements: 3.00+ Transfer GPA
Renewal GPA: 2.75
Scholarship: University Scholarship
Amount: $9,500
Requirements: 2.50+ Transfer GPA
Renewal GPA: 2.25
Scholarship: Transfer Scholarship
Amount: $8,500
Requirements: 2.0 Transfer GPA
Renewal GPA: 2.00
Scholarship: Phi Theta Kapa
Amount: $2,000
Requirements: PTK designation on transcript
Renewal GPA: 3.25

*Based on 24 transferable credits. Transfer students with less than 24 transferable credits will be evaluated under freshman admissions and scholarship guidelines. Official college transcripts are required to validate the cumulative GPA and the number of transferrable credit hours.

Scholarships will be evaluated at the end of every spring semester and again at the end of the summer terms for all students. Scholarships will be renewed based upon each student’s cumulative, current GPA. A student may receive a scholarship of higher or lower value than her/his original award.

Additional HSU Scholarships & Awards

Scholarship: Heritage Scholarship
Requirements: Awarded to all incoming students in 2019-2020 whose parent/sibling graduated from HSU; who currently have a brother/sister attending HSU; whose parent is currently serving in full-time Christian ministry; or whose parent is currently serving as a full-time missionary.
Renewal GPA: 2.00
Scholarship: National Merit - Commended
Requirements: 2019 graduates named National Merit Commended as a new, first-time freshman. Students must provide their National Merit certificate to verify award.
Renewal GPA: 2.00
Scholarship: National Hispanic Recognition Award
Requirements: 2019 graduates named National Hispanic Recognition as a new, first-time freshman. Students must provide their National Merit certificate to verify award.
Renewal GPA: 2.00
Scholarship: Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarship
Requirements: 2019 graduates who ranked #1 or #2 in their high school class. Students must submit an official transcript indicating class rank to be awarded this one-year scholarship.
Scholarship: Honors Scholarships
Requirements: Application and acceptance to the Honors Program required.
Renewal GPA: See for more information.

Scholarship: Hemphill Leadership Scholarship
Requirements: Application and acceptance to the Leadership program required.
Renewal GPA:  See  for more information.
Scholarship: Church-Matching Grant
Amount $1 for $1 match up to $2,000/year
Requirements: HSU will match designated Christian church gifts up to $2,000/year, per student. Students must complete and submit the Church Match Scholarship Form annually to receive the match. May not be received in addition to the Christian Service Scholarship. Full-time enrollment not required but award amount cannot exceed the cost of tuition.
Renewal GPA: Must be in good academic standing
Scholarship: John Hardin Grant
Requirements: This need-based award will only be applied to full-time undergraduate students once Texas Tuition Equalization Grant funds have been depleted, except in the case of an out-of-state student. Students must complete 24 hours in an academic year to maintain eligibility. Eligibility ceases after five years. This award is capped at tuition. A FAFSA application is required.
Renewal GPA: 2.50
Scholarship: James Simmons Award
Requirements: Students must file a FAFSA for this award prior to the first payment deadline. Students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA will receive priority for this award. Award amounts vary and will be applied after all other scholarship and grant aid has been awarded. This award is renewable as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress and in good-standing; however, the amount will depend on financial need as determined by the FAFSA and other financial assistance received. If additional scholarship monies are received after the initial award, this award will be recalculated.
Renewal GPA Must be in good academic standing
Scholarship: Kiker Scholarship
Amount: varies
Requirements: Awarded to 2nd-year HSU students majoring or planning to major teach in the fields of math or science. Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA at the beginning of the fall semester of their second year, be in good academic standing and free from any disciplinary action to be awarded this scholarship. This award is for one-year only.
Scholarship: Christian Service Scholarship
Amount: $500/year minimum; amount varies according to financial need as determined by the FAFSA
Requirements: Christian Service Scholarship application must be submitted along with the FAFSA and a pastoral letter of recommendation from the student’s local church. The recommender cannot be related to the applicant. This award may not be received in additional to a Church Match scholarship.
Renewal GPA: 2.00

Ministerial Financial Assistance

Designated for students that are planning on entering the ministry. Being a ministry/theology major is not required for this award. Students must complete an application through the Logsdon School of Theology and present a license, certificate of ordination, or letter of certification from a Baptist Church. The Ministerial Grant is tuition- specific.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

Leland Scholars

Select students admitted to the Honors Program may apply for the Leland Honors Scholarship. This prestigious award is for 100% tuition and replaces all other tuition-specific institutional scholarships previously awarded. Leland Scholarships will cover tuition up to 150 undergraduate hours.

Endowed Scholarships

Numerous endowed and restricted scholarships are available through various HSU departments. Students who have received admissions approval can log into HSU Central to submit a scholarship application through Scholarship Central. Application does not guarantee an award and must be completed on an annual basis.

Outside Scholarships

It is important for the student to pursue scholarships provided by local organizations and businesses. Check with your high school counselor to see what information they might have about outside scholarship opportunities.

Tuition Exchange

The tuition exchange scholarship is a partnership of over 500 colleges & universities offering competitive scholarships to dependents of full-time faculty and staff. Tuition exchange scholarships are not guaranteed to all eligible applicants. These awards cover four years (eight semesters) of undergraduate tuition. Fees, course overloads, room & board charges, and PHSSN tuition are not covered. These scholarships cover tuition where regular HSU tuition is assessed. Tuition Exchange scholarships will be awarded up to the cost of tuition when combined with other institutional