Trellis Company Publishes Annual Reference Report

Round Rock, TX – Only one-third of Texans age 25 and older have obtained a bachelor’s degree, according to Trellis Company’s annual State of Student Aid and Higher Education in Texas (SOSA) reference report, published today. The annual report, which provides information helpful in informing policy and programs, also found that Texas had a larger percentage increase in college costs over the past year when compared to the nation.

In other trends, community colleges are providing the gateway to postsecondary education for Texans – four out of five college freshmen in Texas public institutions in fall 2015 were enrolled in community colleges. Additionally, the greatest growth area among high school students comes from Hispanics, who historically are less likely to enroll in college immediately after graduation when compared to their peers, with approximately one-third having not finished high school.

“We know that Texans care about access to quality postsecondary education,” says Carla Fletcher, Senior Research Analyst at Trellis Company and lead author of the report. “We also know that there are different views for how to educate Texans most equitably and effectively. One of the goals of the SOSA is to provide a resource that supports healthy discussions based on a common understanding of the relevant facts.”

This easy-to-read reference report provides data on a wide variety of important student finance topics related to higher education, including demographic projections, college costs, student loan repayment outcomes, and higher education policy. Notable points from the 2018 SOSA include:

    • More than half of student aid in Texas is in the form of loans, and more than two-thirds of aid at public four-year universities is in the form of loans.
    • The average annual Pell grant award in Texas covers just 16 percent of the average cost of attendance for one year at a Texas public four-year university.
    • Paying the cost of attendance for two semesters at a Texas public four-year university through minimum wage work alone would require working 64 hours per week every week of the year.
    • Over a quarter of student borrowers are not at all confident that they will be able to repay their student loan debt.
    • Bachelor’s degree holders earn about $1 million more in lifetime earnings compared to those whose highest education is a high school diploma.
    • For the first time, the Texas student loan cohort default rate, at 10.4 percent, is lower than the national rate, at 11.5 percent.
    • Outstanding student loan debt in Texas is now estimated at $101.5 billion, making up about 7.4 percent of the total national outstanding student loan debt of $1.38 trillion.

“Charting the course for the future of Texas requires a firm understanding of where we are now,” says Jeff Webster, Director of Research at Trellis Company. “We are excited to continue providing this resource and hope the information contained within will spark new ideas and conversations to advance our state’s higher education goals.”

To download individual pages, separate sections, or the full report, please visit:


About Trellis Company
Trellis Company, formerly TG, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with the dual mission of helping student borrowers successfully repay their education loans and promoting access and success in higher education. We have a nearly 40-year successful track record of delivering positive outcomes for students and institutions. Our strong philanthropic heritage of giving through grants to colleges, universities, and research groups remains focused on improving student outcomes, especially to assist underserved students and families, and to help institutions navigate the changing landscape of higher education.

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