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Cougar Promise

The Cougar Promise is the University of Houston's commitment to ensure a college education is accessible to students from low and middle-income families. Effective fall 2020, Cougar Promise will expand the income ranges for eligibility. The University of Houston guarantees tuition and mandatory fees will be covered by grant assistance and other sources for eligible students with family incomes at or below $65,000 and will provide tuition support for those with family incomes which fall between $65,001 and $125,000.

To be eligible for Cougar Promise, you must:

  • Be an entering first-time freshman for fall semester admitted by January 15
  • Qualify as a Texas resident which includes students eligible to pay in state tuition under SB1528
  • Be an independent student or a dependent member of a household whose Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) does not exceed $125,000
  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) and submit all financial aid forms with supporting documents by the State priority deadline of January 15
  • Have demonstrated financial need preventing you from covering the cost of tuition and fees per federal and/or state guidelines
  • Enroll as a full-time degree seeking student at the University of Houston

Cougar Promise Frequently Asked Questions

How does Cougar Promise work and what does it cover?

The University of Houston Cougar Promise covers both tuition and mandatory fees for eligible students and students from families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $65,000 or less. Independent or dependent students with an AGI from $65,001 to $125,000 may qualify for tuition support ranging from $500 to $2,000. Cougar Promise utilizes a combination of grants (i.e., Pell, TEXAS and institutional grants, etc.) and various other resources as determined by the FAFSA or TASFA.

What is the application deadline for the Cougar Promise?

Cougar Promise does not require a separate application process. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) by the priority deadline of January 15 to be considered. Submit all financial aid forms and supporting documents by this same date. Because students do not know in advance if they have been chosen for verification, families should consider submitting the FAFSA by December 1.

Does Cougar Promise provide assistance for transfer students?

Cougar Promise is a program for new entering freshmen. However, the University of Houston offers eligible transfer students the Transfer Excellence and Transfer Achievement scholarships, along with an array of federal, state and institutional grants, loans and work-study.

Does Cougar Promise require full-time enrollment?

Yes, students are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits at the University of Houston for both fall and spring terms. We strongly encourage students to enroll in 15 credits per term to ensure on-time graduation.

Is Cougar Promise available for summer terms?

Cougar Promise is a fall and spring program.

Is Cougar Promise renewable?

Yes, Cougar Promise is available for up to four years or five years for the Bachelor of Architecture 160 credit degree plan. To be eligible for renewal students must earn at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year. Thirty credit hours per year are preferable to ensure on-time graduation. Students must file a FAFSA or TASFA each year by the State of Texas priority deadline and maintain income and need eligibility.

Does Cougar Promise cover books as well as room & board?

Cougar Promise is a commitment to assist students in meeting the cost of tuition and mandatory fees. Students may be eligible to receive additional scholarships and financial aid that can cover books as well as room and board.

How will I be notified if I receive “Cougar Promise”?

“Cougar Promise” is a commitment from the University of Houston to provide tuition coverage or support to qualifying Texas families, though it will not appear as an individual item on your financial aid offer. Eligible students will receive a separate communication providing the details of your assistance.

Please reach out to Scholarships & Financial Aid at sfa@central.uh.edu or call (713) 743-1010, option 5 for additional Cougar Promise questions.


This program is subject to available funds. Continuing Cougar Promise students’ eligibility criteria remains the same as posted the year they entered UH.