Applicant Faqs

  • Whose income do I count? / What if I don’t have any income?
  • Most applicants will provide their own income, the income of their spouse or partner, and any income or benefits their children (under 18) receive. This includes income from your job, child support, benefits or assistance programs, etc.

    Do not count income for roommates, or adult children (18 years or older) who live with you.

    If you do not have any income of your own, you will need to ask the person supporting you to fill out a Financial Support Form (PDF). This will count as your income documentation required for your application. If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a copy when you come into the office for your application steps.

  • How do I get a new or replacement social security card?
  • You may be able to request a replacement of your social security card online — see if you qualify Social Security Administration.
    If you don’t qualify to use the online service, or you are requesting for a child, visit the same page as above (Social Security Administration), then scroll down to the section ‘How To Get A New, Replacement Or Corrected Card’.

  • How do I get a new or replacement driver's license?
  • To get your Texas driver’s license or state ID card visit Texas.gov. You’ll see options to renew, change address, or reinstate a license.

  • Do you need to count my parent’s income (for recent high school grads living at home)?
  • No, we won’t need to consider your parent’s income. Ask your parents to fill out the Financial Support Form (PDF) and turn it in along with your application. If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a form when you come into the office for your next application step.

  • What if I can’t find my taxes? / What if I didn’t file taxes?
  • If you’ve lost your copy of your taxes, you can get a transcript of your taxes from the IRS by calling (800)–829–1040. Transcripts will be mailed directly to you in 2-3 weeks.

    If you did not file taxes in the past year, we will have you fill out and sign a Tax Declaration Form (PDF). If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a copy when you come into the office and fill it out there. We’ll add it to your file.

  • How do I reschedule my assessment?
  • If you are trying to reschedule because your paperwork isn’t done yet, don’t reschedule. Come in and take your assessment. We’ll review what you’ve completed so far and let you know what is missing.

    If you need to reschedule your assessment because you can’t make your appointment, use this link: Make a Change to My Sign Up.

    If you have trouble with the link above, go ahead and sign up for a new date here: Step 2, then email us to let us know you have changed your assessment date: I’ve rescheduled my assessment (email).

  • Why am I being asked for so many documents?
  • It’s true, we do ask for a LOT of documents. Believe it or not, we try to ask only for documents when absolutely necessary. But here’s why we ask for so much information: We get our funding from government agencies, big foundations, and other private donors. To show that we are using the money responsibly and only in the way we’ve said we would, we have to prove each and every applicant is a real person, who really lives in our community, and meets all of our qualifications.

    At least twice a year we go through a rigorous audit to verify we are documenting our program correctly and storing information safely. We document every aspect of our decision to accept a new student because as soon as we’ve done that, we are able to commit thousands of dollars towards their education. And we LOVE paying for our student’s college, and seeing them succeed!

  • How do I use Adobe Scan? / How do I turn my documents into PDFs?
  • We recommend Adobe Scan to our students and applicants because it is FREE, and it can turn your paper documents into PDFs using the camera on your phone. Below is a tutorial video to help you get started. Get the Adobe Scan app

    Note: There are several other apps that can create PDFS, like Dropbox for example, and you are welcome to use any app you trust to securely scan and store your personal information.

    Remember, if you ever struggle with technology (and who doesn’t), just ask us for a low-tech way to keep going. For example, if scanning documents at home isn’t working for you, bring your documents with you to your assessment (Step 2). You can use our copy machine while you’re here. We’ll show you how.

  • Do I have to take the assessment? Even if I'm already in college?
  • The short answer is: yes. Every applicant has to take an assessment. It counts as part of your application.

  • When Should I Apply?
  • Capital IDEA has three application periods a year. Use the application calendar below to help you plan when to apply.

    APPLICATION CALENDAR

    JAN | EARLY apply for summer semester (starts in May).
    FEB | Apply for summer semester.
    MAR | Apply for summer semester — recommended apply by date: March 31.
    APR | LATE apply for summer semester. Your start date may get pushed back to fall semester (August).

    MAY | EARLY apply for fall semester (start in August).
    JUN | Apply for fall semester.
    JUL | Apply for fall semester — recommended apply by date: July 31.
    AUG | LATE apply for fall semester. Your start date may get pushed back to spring semester (January).

    SEP | EARLY apply for spring semester (starts in January).
    OCT | Apply for spring semester.
    NOV | Apply for spring semester — recommended apply by date: November 30.
    DEC | LATE apply for spring semester. Your start date may get pushed back to summer semester (May).

  • What happens if i miss the apply by deadline?
  • If you miss the deadline to apply for a specific semester, don’t worry, your application will be considered for the next semester.

  • Entry ID – What is it for and how do I get one?
  • What is the Entry ID? The Entry ID is a tracking number assigned to new applicants when they start the application process online. You’ll use your Entry ID number when you fill out your application. There will be a field that asks for it. That is the only time you’ll need your Entry ID.

    How do I get an Entry ID? Your Entry ID gets emailed to you as soon as you fill out the New Online Applicant Form. If you’ve already filled out that form, then you can log in to My Dashboard to find your Entry ID there as well.

  • How do I get my college transcript?
  • Transcripts can be requested through the school’s registrar’s office. You can often request your transcript online. Try visiting the college’s website and search for ‘registrar’s office’ or ‘transcript request.’ Some schools require written consent before processing your request and will not offer online services. In that case, try calling or visiting the office in person.
    If your college no longer exists, you will have a more difficult time obtaining transcripts. Start with this information sheet: Guidelines for Obtaining Student Transcripts or Records from Private Institutions (pdf)

  • How do I get copies of my high school diploma or GED certificate?
  • To get a copy of your high school transcript, contact the registrar’s office at the school you graduated from. They should be able to get you a copy of your transcript. If you have difficulty getting your request filled by the school, you can try an on-line service like www.needmytranscriptcom.
    For GED certificate, visit the Texas Certificate/Transcript Search to obtain a printable PDF containing the Certificate of High School Equivalency and test scores for $5. The printable PDF will include a diploma-style certificate suitable for framing and a transcript with test dates and scores. The certificates and verifications must be printed during this transaction, so be sure to use a computer that is connected to a printer.

  • How do I get a new or replacement birth certificate?
  • If you need to replace a birth certificate for yourself or a family member who was born in Texas, you can order replacement birth certificates through the Texas Vital Records Department.

    Order online at www.dshs.texas.gov/vs.
    Order in person at 1100 West 49th Street, Building R, Austin, TX 78756.
    Order by phone 512-776-7111.

    For individuals born outside of Texas, you will need to search for the right department in the state they were born in. For example, type “birth certificates New Mexico department of health,” into a search engine like Google or Bing. Look for websites that end in .gov to ensure you are getting the government agency and not a third party agency which will charge you more for the same service.