New! College Exam Fees Reimbursements

New! College Exam Fees Reimbursements

March 6 | Grants Management

Prom, senior pictures, class rings, graduation invitations… the list goes on and on. Parents of seniors may feel the need to take out a second mortgage! While schools can’t help with everything, the good news is that there is now funding for SAT, ACT, TSIA, and industry-based certification (IBC) exams. Reimbursements were authorized under House Bill 3, and TEA has devoted funding with the intent to remove the cost of exam fees as a barrier to applying for college or obtaining industry-based certifications. Charter districts have already been given estimated funding for this in the Summary of Finances Report (lines 39 and 40)! CSS has researched the exam fee reimbursements, and this “Tip” will provide you with guidance to help secure a bright future for your students!

The CSS federal team will be available to advise our clients through the process of obtaining reimbursements for eligible exam fees.

What students are eligible for reimbursement?


Students must be in the spring semester of their junior year or any time during their senior year during the 2019-2020 school year. For each eligible student, $35 will be reimbursed for school day administrations of the SAT or ACT. National administrations (Saturday testing) remain unchanged at $49.50 for the SAT (no essay) and $52.00 for the ACT. TSIA costs are determined by the institution. Only reading and math portions will be reimbursed.

Industry-Based Certification (IBC) Exams

Students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 between September 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. Only one reimbursement per student will be allowed. Full cost will be reimbursed with proper documentation.

You can be reimbursed for both SAT/ACT/TSIA and IBC for the same student. The two programs are separate. TEA published memos on both topics that provide important information about the reimbursement process.

How do we obtain reimbursement?

School Day Administration of SAT or ACT

This is the easiest option, because no action is required other than arranging the school day test administration with the College Board. TEA will obtain testing data directly from the vendor.

National Administration of SAT/ACT and TSIA

TEA will be sending more information about requests for reimbursement for non-school day administrations. In the meantime, you should make sure you have the following information on each student:

  • For a national administration request: name, date of birth, 10-digit Texas Student Data System (TSDS) unique ID, grade level at time of testing, type of assessment taken (SAT or ACT), administration location, administration date, cost of administration (excluding essay and fees), and proof of payment.
  • For a TSIA request: name, date of birth, 10-digit TSDS unique ID, grade level at time of testing, type of assessment taken including BOTH reading and math, location of EACH assessment administration, date of EACH assessment administration, cost of EACH assessment administration (excluding fees), and proof of payment.

Industry-Based Certification Exams

Data for reimbursements for IBC exams will be collected through PEIMS. For the Summer Submission 3, charter districts will only be able to report certification earned. TEA will have a separate process to collect cost and certifying entity. More information is coming about submitting this in the fall of 2020. In the 2020-21 PEIMS fall submission 1, certification earned, cost, and the certifying entity will all be able to be reported in PEIMS (this will be for summer exams).

What resources are available for questions about the reimbursements?

The Advanced Academics Division at TEA has published a website about the House Bill 3 Reimbursements. In addition, they can be contacted by email at or by phone at 512-463-9762.

  • Link to College Preparation Assessments: Click Here
  • Link to Industry-Based Certifications: Click Here

Other Considerations

  • Only one SAT/ACT/TSIA fee and/or one Industry-Based exam fee per student can be reimbursed. Re-tests to try to raise scores and late fees are not covered.
  • Writing/essay cost is not included because Texas public institutions of higher education do not require the essay or writing test for admission.
  • No Summer assessments (June 1 – August 31) of the SAT/ACT/TSIA are eligible for reimbursement. IBC exams taken in the summer are eligible for reimbursement but will not be reported until the 2020-21 PEIMS fall submission 1.
  • Settle-up will not happen until April of 2021. The amounts listed on lines 39 and 40 of your summary of finances will be all you receive until next spring.
  • LEAs may not use the exam costs to meet the 55% expenditure requirement for the CCMR outcomes bonus program (PIC 38) or the CTE state allotment (PIC 22).
  • Keep in mind the reimbursement goes to the Charter District not the student. It is local policy how the charter district chooses to pay for national administrations, TSIA, or IBC exams.
  • Please refer to the FAQ document about the SAT/ACT/TSIA reimbursement.

Stay tuned for more HB3 info to come! Have questions or need assistance?

Please contact: